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HT Students to Compete in the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge

(AUSTIN, Texas) 3.12.12 — Across the nation, students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are making final preparations to vie for grants and glory at the nation’s only HBCU academic competition – the 2012 Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC) ( The two-day competition, scheduled to take place April 1-2, 2012, in Torrance, CA, will test students’ knowledge of history, science, literature, religion, the arts, social science, and popular culture. The competition will give students the opportunity to win a share of the more than $300,000 in institutional grants awarded annually by Honda, as well as battle for bragging rights as the nation’s top academic HBCU.

 The team of  Aisha Z. Henderson, junior, computer science; Erica N. Jackson, senior, political science; Nimi Kemuel, junior, political science; and Jonathan Wayne, sophomore, music; will represent Huston-Tillotson University.  The students voluntarily enrolled in the Honda All-Star Challenge Preparation semester-long course taught by history Professor Alaine Hutson and participated in mock competitions with other historically black universities in the state. HT students have earned more than $40,000 in the competition since entering the challenge in the early 90s.

The 250 HCASC student competitors from 48 HBCUs, or “Great 48,” heading to Torrance to compete in the 2012 games, hail from HBCUs located in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, South Carolina, Delaware, Florida, Tennessee, Louisiana, New York, Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, Oklahoma, Virginia, Texas, West Virginia, and Washington DC. The competitors will be split into eight divisions and will compete in a modified round-robin format.  The top two teams from each division will advance to the “Sweet 16” and compete in a single elimination playoff.  The final two teams that emerge from the playoffs will battle for the title of National Champions and the grand prize of $50,000.

The 23rd annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge will take place this year at the corporate headquarters of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., in Torrance, CA. Moving from its previous location in Orlando, FLA.,  this will be the first time the event is held in the Los Angeles area on the campus of Honda, the event’s sole corporate sponsor. Honda hopes to introduce students to the many career opportunities available in the automotive industry.

HCASC is one of Honda’s largest and longest running philanthropic initiatives in the United States.  Throughout its 22-year tenure, the program has touched over 50,000 students and awarded more than $6 million in grants.  In addition to providing students a venue for friendly competition, the program encourages relationship building, intellectual excellence, and the development of values that define good character. 

“In 1989, the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge was created to highlight the great minds and talent present at our nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities.  Today, 23 years later, we at Honda are proud to still be a part of HCASC as it continues to exemplify HBCUs’ academic excellence, enrich our nation’s youth, and invest in one of the country’s largest pipelines for professional, artistic, and academic talent. We hope that by hosting the students on the campus of our national headquarters we can expose and hopefully inspire them to consider a career in the automotive industry,” said Steve Morikawa, assistant vice president, Corporate Community Relations, American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

The public can follow the competition online at and on Facebook and Twitter at and!/hcasc, respectively.

About Honda
Based on its belief of The Power of Dreams, Honda supports a variety of initiatives to advance education and create experiences of discovery that help people see and achieve their own dreams.  The Honda Campus All-Star Challenge and the Honda Battle of the Bands are two of Honda’s philanthropic programs that demonstrate Honda’s commitment to supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities and to helping young people follow their dreams.

About Huston-Tillotson University
Huston-Tillotson University is Austin’s oldest institution of higher education with roots dating to 1875.  The University offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in more than 16 areas of study.