Stillman College wins 34th Honda Campus All-Star Challenge

Stillman College bested 64 teams to win the 2023 Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC) National Championship and a $75,000 institutional grant from Honda.

TORRANCE, California – Stillman College earned top honors and a $75,000 institutional grant from Honda at the 34th Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC), America’s premier academic competition for students from HBUCs, held last week.

Stillman’s national HCASC win is the first in the college’s history.

Hosted on the American Honda corporate campus in Torrance, California, more than 200 HBCU students, along with their coaches, participated in this year’s HCASC National Championship Tournament, which returned to an in-person format for the first time in four years. Beyond the competition, the HCASC program included student networking opportunities and activities with HBCU presidents. Honda provided more than $400,000 in institutional grants to the participating HBCUs.           

 “I’m so proud that we will bring back the HCASC National Championship title and demonstrate that we create an environment at Stillman to produce this winning talent,” said Dr. Cynthia Warrick, Stillman president.

Honda Campus All-Star Challenge is a year-round program that celebrates Black excellence and challenges students to expand their scope of knowledge on a wide range of topics, with the opportunity to gain lifelong learning skills, including leadership, collaboration, and sportsmanship. Based on the theme “Friends for Life,” participating students have the opportunity to build camaraderie with students from other HBCUs and gain mentorship opportunities with HCASC alumni and Honda associates.

“Congratulations to the scholars from Stillman College who committed themselves to excelling in this competition and secured the 2023 Honda Campus All-Star Challenge championship title,” said Yvette Hunsicker, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility and Inclusion & Diversity at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “HCASC provides HBCU students a platform to pursue their passion for learning and love of knowledge while building leadership skills, long-lasting friendships and so much more. We appreciate the tremendous dedication and academic talent shown by all of the students who participated in this year’s program.”

In an exciting best two out of three games during the HCASC National Championship match, the scholars from Stillman College defeated the Tuskegee University team by accurately answering questions about history, science, literature, religion, the arts and pop culture. Stillman College bested teams from 64 HBCUs and qualified for the National Championship Tournament after winning a series of regional competitions throughout the academic year.

This is the 34th year Stillman College has participated in the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge and the first year it has won the HCASC National Championship. The winning team was coached by Dr. Thomas Steven Jennings and includes team captain Carla A. Louca, a senior majoring in religion from Tuscaloosa, Susannah Britain LeMay, a junior majoring in journalism from Fredericksburg, Virginia, Jaela Williams, a junior majoring in criminal justice from Huntsville, and Zharia Nubia Lankford, a senior majoring in journalism from Douglasville, Georgia.

“The big lesson that I’ve taken away from HCASC is humility,” said Carla A. Louca, senior religion major at Stillman. “At our National Qualifying Tournament, we were undefeated. When we lost a round at one of our Round Robin games, we had to take a step back and think about what that means and the reason we are here. We are here to make friends and build relationships – all of which we have done through HCASC.”

Earlier this semester, Stillman won its first-ever HCASC competition when it went undefeated in the National Qualifying Tournament at Alabama A&M, clinching the victory with a last-second correct answer by Williams.

Runner-up Tuskegee University was awarded a $30,000 grant, while the third and fourth place finishers – Winston-Salem State University and Oakwood University, respectively – each received a $20,000 grant. University of the District of Columbia, Southern University and A&M College, Spelman College and Tennessee State University rounded out the “Great 8” teams that competed in the HCASC Finals.

As a bonus for this year’s tournament, Honda awarded an additional $1,000 in institutional grants to schools that earned perfect scores in the last round, named the Ultimate Challenge. During this rapid-fire round, teams have 60 seconds to answer 10 questions. The teams from Oakwood University and Stillman College had two perfect Ultimate Challenge rounds while Winston-Salem State University had one perfect Ultimate Challenge round.  

This year’s HCASC theme, “Driving the Legacy,” celebrates the rich history and unique experience of HBCUs and aims to inspire students to create the life they envision for themselves. Since the program was established in 1989, HCASC has enriched the lives of 250,000 students and Honda has awarded $11 million in institutional grants to participating HBCUs.

Honda and Historically Black Colleges and Universities

For over 30 years, Honda has supported the success and dreams of Historically Black College and University (HBCU) students through initiatives including the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge and Honda Battle of the Bands. These programs provide unforgettable experiences and opportunities for HBCU students, including meeting and networking with peers from other HBCU schools. Honda has impacted the lives of nearly 300,000 students and awarded over $14 million in grants in support of HBCU education programs and facilities improvements.

To advance its leading investment in HBCUs, Honda is a member of the HBCU Partnership Challenge, a Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus initiative that brings together government, industry, and HBCUs to create strategic, more sustainable HBCU partnerships.