Along with the championship trophy and bragging rights, the team won the $50,000 cash grant to enhance programs at the university. Members of the winning team are Joseph Dowell, Captain, a senior from Killeen, Brannon Billings, a senior from Austin, Eric Johnston, a sophomore from Boerne, and Chayse Lavallais, a freshman from Houston, with Herbert Thomas, Career Placement Coordinator as the coach and Shahryar Syed, an Institutional Representative.
The HCASC academic challenge and quiz bowl is the country’s answer to March Madness where academic excellence and quick intellectual wit is on display. The road to this final four began in the fall from a field of 78 and narrowed down to the Great 48 of America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Regional tournaments are held throughout the year with qualifying teams advancing. The PVAMU team is a charter member of the program which began in 1989 with Frederick V. Roberts, then Director of Student Activities at the university as the founding coach 1989-1996.
According to Honda officials, “We support the HBCUs because of the unique and critical role they play in higher education, and because they have helped literally millions of students achieve their dreams through the years.” Since 1989, more than $7.5 million in grants from Honda have provided support for book and tuition scholarships, facilities upgrades, and other investments to improve the student experience.
The more than 10,000 HCASC alumni include individuals in various career paths to include doctors, teachers, lawyers, community-builders, scientists, professors, architects, researchers, writers, journalists, military and government officials, business leaders and entrepreneurs, artists, engineers, economists, musicians, and more. These alumni share an enthusiasm for learning and are making significant contributions to their communities.
Next stop for the Championship team is a hopeful appearance at the White House with President Barak Obama and staff.
For game play and photos, go to www.hcasc.com