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UMES To Compete at Honda Campus All-Star Challenge

  • Thursday, April 8, 2010


    PRINCESS ANNE, MD- Students from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore will join 47 other Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in a battle of academic prowess at the 21st annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge, the nation's largest academic competition held between HBCUs.

    More than 250 HBCU college students will travel to Orlando, Fla. to participate in the two-day competition, April 11-12, which will showcase their knowledge in the areas of world history, science, literature, religion, the arts, social science and popular culture. Teams will vie for the chance to win grant money for their school with the winner walking away with the top prize of $50,000.  In all, a total of $328,000 in institutional grants will be awarded through this year's program.

    "Our varsity team has been practicing for months," said Dr. James White, associate vice president for Student Life and Enrollment Management at UMES and head coach for the team.  "Assistant coach Lisa Purnell and I have set our goal as a repeat of UMES' 2003 performance, when the team of Matthew Lang, Janiece Blackmon, Earl Holland Jr., Quinnisha Smith and Mumbi Thande-Kamiru finished second behind Morehouse in the national finals.   We are thankful to Honda to have this opportunity to showcase some of UMES' best and brightest students." 

    During the 21 years that UMES has participated in the national academic competition they have a cumulative grants earning of $104,000.

    This year the "Great 48," as they are called, will be split into eight divisions and 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 will then compete for the National Champion title.

    "The Honda Campus All-Star Challenge was created to shine a spotlight on the academic excellence exemplified at America's Historically Black Colleges and Universities," said Marc Burt, senior manager, Office of Inclusion and Diversity, American Honda Motor Company. "We at Honda are proud to say that 21 years after this program's inception, HCASC continues to not only highlight the great minds present at our nation's HBCUs, but it also provides, through grant giving, an opportunity for the company to invest one of the country's largest pipelines for professional and academic talent."

    The Honda Campus All-Star Challenge is one of Honda's largest and longest running philanthropic initiatives in the U.S. Since 1989, HCASC has brought together the nation's best and brightest academic competitors from the America's top HBCUs. 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. Throughout its 21 year history HCASC has touched over 50,000 students, awarded more than $5 million in grants and continues to be the only annual academic competition of its kind.

    For more information on the Honda Campus All Star Challenge and a list of the 48 participating HBCUs visit

    Photo caption:

    The UMES Honda Campus All-Star Challenge team, from left to right, are Assistant Coach Lisa Purnell; Kenneth Hales II, an agribusiness major from Millersville, Md