From ‘Great 48’ to ‘Sweet 16,’ SUBR shines at 2016 Honda Campus All-Star Challenge National Championship


Southern University Baton Rouge (SUBR) was one of 48 HBCUs competing in Los Angeles, California for the 27th annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC) National Championship, April 3-5, 2016.

Last fall, 76 HBCUs began the "Road to the Championship," for the HCASC National Championship. In February 64 institutions faced off at National Qualifying Tournaments. In April, teams from 48 schools competed for the national HCASC title.

The SUBR HCASC team included Myeisha L. Webb (captain), senior, elementary education, Baton Rouge; Terrence J. Curry, sophomore, biology and pre-med, Newton, Mississippi; Kelvin P. Wells Jr., freshman, political science and international relations, Baton Rouge; and Kenon James Jones, senior, biology, Jeanerette. They were accompanied and coached by Deadra James Mackie, advisor, Dolores Margaret Richard Spikes Honors College and assistant professor, biology, and Diola Bagayoko, SU System Distinguished Professor of Physics, and dean, Dolores Margaret Richard Spikes Honors College.

The Jaguar team advanced to the (HCASC) "Sweet 16" after the preliminary round of the national competition to next compete against the team from Florida A&M University (FAMU). The FAMU team went on to win the 27th Honda Campus All-Star Challenge National Championship.

"It was clear, by the end of the preliminary rounds, that the Jaguar Team was well trained. The brilliance of the Jaguar Team was apparent in the margins of points by which it won several games. The regular and professional practices by the team, throughout the fall of 2015 and the spring of 2016, begot the superior preparation of the Jaguar Team," said Bagayoko.

Including this year's grant, Southern Baton Rouge has earned $120,500 during its years of participation, according to Mary Oberembt, vice president College Bowl Company, Inc.

"You should be very proud of your [SU] team! The students and coaches spent countless hours preparing for the tournament, and proudly represented your institution. Honda enjoyed hosting the team, and getting to know your outstanding scholars," said Oberembt.

Oberembt explained that the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge is much more than just an academic quiz championship. Through face-to-face competition and camaraderie among like-minded and very bright students, the competitors become "Friends for Life," and join an elite group of HBCU students whose network of those they met at HCASC become lifelong contacts.

According to Bagayoko, for the last 27 years, the American Honda Motor Company, Inc. has funded the quiz bowl teams on HBCU campuses in order for them to partake in the National Qualifying Competition and the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Competition.

"Such a long-term and broad support points to a good corporate citizenship many others should emulate. The pivotal importance of the investments by the American Honda Motor Company, Inc. resides in the fact they enable the long-term engagements of hundreds of HBCU students in preparing for the qualifying and championship tournaments. In doing so, these investments are not only helping to build the intellectual prowess of these students, but also their determination, focus, courage, and perseverance. For this reason, we salute all the HBCU participants, their quiz bowl players, the coaches, the hundreds of volunteers who organize and run HCASC, and, naturally, the American Honda Motor Company, Inc.," said Bagayoko.



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