Top Young Scholars Prepare for Nation's Only Academic Competition Among Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Across the nation, students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are making final preparations to vie for grants and glory at the nation’s...

Across the nation, students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are making final preparations to vie for grants and glory at the nation's only HBCU academic competition – at the 2012 Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC) ( The two-day competition, scheduled to take place April 1 - April 2 in Torrance, CA, will test students' knowledge of history, science, literature, religion, the arts, social science, and popular culture. The competition will give students the opportunity to win a share of the more than $300,000 in institutional grants awarded annually by Honda, and to battle for bragging rights as the nation's top academic HBCU.

The 250 HCASC student competitors from 48 HBCUs, or "Great 48," heading to Torrance to compete in the 2012 games, hail from HBCUs located in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, South Carolina, Delaware, Florida, Tennessee, Louisiana, New York, Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, Oklahoma, Virginia, Texas, West Virginia, and Washington DC. The competitors will be split into eight divisions and will compete in a modified round-robin format. The top two teams from each division will advance to the "Sweet 16" and will compete in a single elimination playoff.  The final two teams that emerge from the playoffs will battle for the title of National Champions and the grand prize of $50,000.

The 23rd annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge will take place this year at the corporate headquarters of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., in Torrance, CA. Moving from its previous location in Orlando, FL, this will be the first time the event is held in the Los Angeles area on Honda's campus. Honda, the event's sole corporate sponsor, hopes to introduce students to the many career opportunities available in the automotive industry.

Last year's National Champions, Florida A&M University, beat second place finisher Oakwood University and took home $50,000 in grant money for their school after answering the following question correctly: 

His 2007 book, Avoid Boring People, looks back on his entire life, not just the two years in which he found fame in the 1950's, which he already chronicled in The Double Helix.  For 10 additional points -- who is this U.S. geneticist and physicist who co-discovered the molecular structure of DNA?

Final Answer: James D. Watson

Florida A&M University holds the most HCASC National Championships, has participated 22 out of the 23 years of the competition and has taken home more than $475,000 in grant money for their university. They will be back again this year to defend their title.

HCASC is one of Honda's largest and longest running philanthropic initiatives in the United States.  Throughout its 22-year tenure, the program has touched more than 50,000 students and awarded more than $6 million in grants.  In addition to providing students a venue for friendly competition, the program encourages relationship building, intellectual excellence, and the development of values that define good character. 


Quote from Florida A&M University Team Captain
"When you get the right group together you overcome all adversity.  Everybody on the team has different personalities and experiences which creates a ying/yang with four components that compliment each other with perfect balance."

Trenton J. Johnson, captain, Florida A&M University, Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Team - 2011 National Champions

Quote from Oakwood University Team Captain
"The most exciting part of the competition was watching the other teams win.  You make friends instantly so you're really cheering your friends on.  It's a competitive sport with no hard feelings."

Marcus Cooper, captain, Oakwood University, Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Team - 2011 Runner-Up

Quote from Honda Executive
"In 1989, the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge was created to highlight the great minds and talent present at our nation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities.  Today, 23 years later, we at Honda are proud to still be a part of HCASC as it continues to exemplify HBCUs' academic excellence, enrich our nation's youth, and invest in one of the country's largest pipelines for professional, artistic, and academic talent. We hope that by hosting the students on the campus of our national headquarters we can expose and hopefully inspire them to consider a career in the automotive industry. "

Steve Morikawa, assistant vice president, Corporate Community Relations, American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

More Information
For more information on the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge and a list of the 48 participating HBCUs, please visit:
HCASC Electronic Media Kit:
HCASC on Facebook:
HCASC on Twitter:!/hcasc

About Honda
Based on its belief of The Power of Dreams, Honda supports a variety of initiatives to advance education and create experiences of discovery that help people see and achieve their own dreams.  The Honda Campus All-Star Challenge and the Honda Battle of the Bands are two of Honda's philanthropic programs that demonstrate Honda's commitment to supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities and to helping young people follow their dreams.




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