Florida A&M University, the 2016 champion, and eight-time national champion went head-to-head with fellow historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) at the 28th annual Honda Campus All‐Star Challenge (HCASC) National Championship Tournament April 8-12 at the American Honda Motor Co., Inc., campus in Torrance, California.
After 20 rounds of intense competition, Famu placed third in the tournament earning $20,000 for the University. Teams from 48 Hbcus competed in the final round of this unique display of academic prowess.
FAMU was represented by Travian Albert, a junior majoring in political science and psychology from Milton, Fla.; Darryl Williams, a junior majoring in political science from Riverview, Fla.; Aubrey Upshur, III, a junior majoring in public relations from Philadelphia, Pa.; and Bryan Anderson, a sophomore majoring in industrial engineering from Coral Springs, Fla.
Vivian L. Hobbs, Ph.D., a retired FAMU professor of English and humanities, coached the team. FAMU’s Interim President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., also attended the event to support the team. Distinguished alumni like Jemal Gibson, who spoke at the tournament’s opening dinner and T’Keyah Crystal Keymáh and Daniel James Dye also cheered on HBCU excellence at HCASC.
“It was a joy seeing the alumni involved in the activities, and FAMU students performed excellently. They lost in a close and highly competitive match. It was deemed one of the better matches of the entire series,” said Robinson. “Our team represented the Rattler nation extremely well. Kudos to their coach Vivian L. Hobbs. Dr. Hobbs is an outstanding coach who has led many teams to success.”
This year’s road to the championship began in fall 2016, with 76 HBCUs vying for a spot in the finals. Through countless hours of study, drills, and practice, 48 elite teams emerged, knowledgeable, and ready to take on the competition. HCASC tested students’ knowledge, skills and ability to quickly and accurately answer questions on world history, science, literature, religion, the arts and popular culture.
Celebrating HBCU excellence, the HCASC is one of Honda’s largest and longest running philanthropic initiatives in the United States. Since 1989, the program has awarded more than $8 million in grants to participating HBCUs, impacting the lives of over 125,000 students across 22 states. The participating HBCUs share in grants from Honda of over $350,000 each year.