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FAMU Wins 5th National Title in Honda Campus All-Star Challenge

FAMU Wins 5th National Title in Honda Campus All-Star Challenge


The Florida A&M University Rattlers slithered past the competition here last month to clinch the 5th national championship at the 2003 Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC), an academic competition for the best and brightest students at historically Black colleges and universities.

Nearly 100 HBCU presidents, educators, alumni and community volunteers observed as more than 320 college students from 64 HBCUs competed in the three-day tournament for more than $300,000 in institutional grants. FAMU quickly and accurately answered 10-point “toss-up” questions and 20-30 point bonus questions in several disciplines to win a two-out-of-three game series against South Carolina State University.

The winners took home a $50,000 grant, while runner-up S.C. State won $25,000. Alabama A&M University and Alcorn State University also made it to the final four.

“HCASC provides an opportunity for students to grow academically and come together as competitors, but leave as friends who are richer and more confident from the experience,” says Eric Conn, assistant vice president of National Advertising for American Honda Motor Co. Inc. “Honda is proud to provide a platform for such growth.”

In addition to winning institutional grants, the competition gives HCASC students the chance to exercise teamwork and establish long-term relationships through unique networking forums. Over the three-day period, the initial field of 64 teams is paired down to 16 teams, which then participate in a single-elimination playoff round until only the final four teams remain.

Florida A&M University’s team included: the captain, Jeffery D. Rodgers Jr., a senior from Pensacola, Fla., majoring in business administration; and players Alonzo Brandon Alexander, a junior from Raleigh, N.C., majoring in physics; Jonathan Daniel Evans, a junior from Morgantown, W.Va., majoring in psychology; and Michael Ghebrebrhan, a senior from Jacksonville, Fla., majoring in physics. Kevin J. Johnson, a junior majoring in physics from Durham, N.C., served as an alternate. Dr. Vivian L. Hobbs was the team’s coach.

The Honda Campus All-Star Challenge was established by American Honda Motor Co. Inc., in 1989. The national tournament took its current form in 1996. Since the inception of the program, more than 15,000 HBCU students have participated, and Honda has awarded nearly $3.5 million in grants to
HBCUs. Last year, Atlanta’s Morehouse College took home first place in the competition. (see Black Issues, April 25, 2002).

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