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Stillman College Wins Nation’s Top Academic Contest for HBCUs

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Stillman students, from left, Susannah LeMay, Carla Louca, and Zharia Lankford react after answering a question correctly at the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge national tournament. (Photo courtesy of Honda Campus All-Star's Challenge)

By Rebecca Griesbach | rgriesbach@al.com

For the first time in history, Stillman College brought home a national title from the Honda Campus All-Star’s Challenge (HCASC).

The competition, held last week in Torrance, California, is the nation’s premier academic contest for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

The Stillman team beat out 64 other colleges, winning a $75,000 grant for their school. A team from Tuskegee University placed second, earning a $30,000 grant.

“I’m so proud that we will bring back the HCASC National Championship title and demonstrate that we create an environment at Stillman to produce this winning talent,” Stillman President Cynthia Warrick said in a news release.

More than 200 HBCU students from across the country participated in the trivia competition, where scholars answered questions about history, science, literature, religion, the arts and pop culture.

Team captain Carla A. Louca, a senior religion major at Stillman, said in a news release that, of all things, the contest taught her a lesson about humility.

“When we lost a round at one of our Round Robin games, we had to take a step back and think about what that means and the reason we are here,” she said. “We are here to make friends and build relationships – all of which we have done through HCASC.”

Stillman and Oakwood University also earned an additional $1,000 grant for earning perfect scores in a rapid-fire final round.

Stillman history professor Thomas Steven Jennings coached the team. Led by Louca, team members included Susannah Britain LeMay, a junior from Fredericksburg, Virginia majoring in journalism; Jaela Williams, a junior from Huntsville majoring in criminal justice; and Zharia Nubia Lankford, a senior Douglasville, Georgia majoring in journalism.

Since the program was established in 1989, HCASC has awarded $11 million in institutional grants to participating HBCUs.

This story appeared originally on al.com