TORRANCE, Calif., April 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Completing a journey that began in the fall, Fisk University claimed its first ever national championship title at the 25th anniversary Honda Campus All-Star Challenge. For a quarter century, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. has sponsored this unique academic competition featuring the best and brightest students from America's Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Watch highlights from this year's competition.
A packed studio audience filled with competitors, alumni, volunteers, fans and Honda associates collectively held their breath as Fisk clinched the title over second-place finisher Oakwood University, after answering the following question correctly: What character in various world mythologies, whose name begins with A, B, or C, was the creator God eclipsed by Vishnu? Answer: Brahma
Fisk was coached by Dr. Stafford W. Cargill. Team members included: Victor Ray Bradley, team captain, junior; Matthew G. Barthwell, junior; Anthony M. Franklin, senior; and Anna M. Wilkins, junior.
"I am very proud of each student on the Fisk University team for the knowledge, spirit and discipline they displayed on the road to the national championship title," said Dr. Stafford W. Cargill, coach, Fisk University.
The seven remaining finalists that qualified for this year's Elite Eight included: Oakwood University of Huntsville, AL; Tuskegee University of Tuskegee, AL; North Carolina Central University of Durham, NC; Morgan State University of Baltimore, MD; Morehouse College of Atlanta, GA; Florida A&M University of Tallahassee, FL; and Alabama State University of Montgomery, AL.
"Honda congratulates Fisk University for winning its first title, and thanks the team for truly representing the more than 10,000 exceptional students that participated in this year's Honda Campus All-Star Challenge," said Steve Morikawa, assistant vice president, corporate and community relations, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "We take great pride in the community that has developed around HCASC, and thank all volunteers and alumni who participated for the enduring impact they have on the lives of our student competitors."
The 2014 coach of the year was Dr. Rosland Rennae Elliott of Oakwood University. Gabriel Smith of Tuskegee University was named the Earnest L. Jones Sportsperson of the Year.
This year's divisional all-stars included: Antoine Armand Southern representing Oakwood; Victoria Monique Jones representing North Carolina Central; Djon-Iva D. Santos representing Alabama State; Gabriel A. Smith representing Tuskegee; Brannon A. Billings representing Prairie View A&M; Victor Ray Bradley representing Fisk; Maryum Styles representing Spelman; and Eric A. Jett representing West Virginia State.
In addition to taking home the national championship trophy, Fisk University secured the top prize of $50,000 in university grants. Second place finisher Oakwood University won $25,000, while third and fourth place finishers – Tuskegee University and North Carolina Central University – earned $15,000 each. In total, more than $300,000 in institutional grants, which support academic activities, was awarded to participating HBCUs.
"Leading among the mediocre doesn't mean much, but being a champion among giants is a dream worth striving for," said Fisk University team captain Victor Ray Bradley. "This competition is full of immensely talented people who are vying to take your spot, but while you hold the title, the victory is sweet."
In 1989, Honda, with the College Bowl Company created the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC) in support of the unique mission of America's Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Historical data about the program is available at www.hcasc.com.
American Honda Motor Co., Inc., was founded in 1959 as the U.S. sales and marketing subsidiary of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. Honda currently produces automobiles, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, lawn mowers and engines at its eleven major U.S. manufacturing operations, using domestic and globally sourced parts. Honda's long-standing commitment to the support and success of the nation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities began 25 years ago with the creation of the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge, a program designed to showcase the academic gifts and prowess of HBCU students. Honda Battle of the Bands was established 12 years ago as an effort to support HBCU music programs.