Oakwood University has been a participant in the Honda Campus All Star Challenge for 17 years.
According to the HCASC, it is “the first-ever academic competition between students at America’s Historically Black Colleges & Universities. Now in its 24th season, nearly 100,000 HCASC players have demonstrated their incredible intellects and fast recall, and for their efforts, have earned over $7 million in grants from Honda for their institutions.”
It is directly because of their Adventist witness that Honda several years ago moved away from having opening round games on Saturday to starting all games on Sunday. Before Honda made this change, Oakwood would play all seven matches (which would normally be broken up over Friday and Saturday) all on Friday so that we could keep the Sabbath. As you might imagine, this would cause exhaustion and mental fatigue. Even though we played all seven matches on those Fridays, Oakwood experienced success and blessings. We won the National Championship twice, in 2007 and 2008, under the direction of current leader Dr. Rennae Elliot. The Ambassadors were the fourth institution in the history of HCASC to win back to back titles. Oakwood was also the second place runner up in 2011 and 2012. Since our first year of participation in 1995, Oakwood teams have brought home $223,000 in educational grants.
This past weekend, Oakwood’s Ambassadors placed in the final four schools, losing by five points to Florida A&M University in the semifinals. This year’s champion is Morgan State University. Oakwood’s teams continue to make alums and former players very proud/ The current team members are: Antoine Armand Southern, Kenesha Rennee Bennett, Nancy Kemunto Kingoina, James Cromwell J. G. Rodriguez, II.
—Steven Lai Hing, M.Sc. is an Oakwood University Alum (’06) and member of the National qualifying 2005-2006 Honda College Bowl team. He is currently a graduate research assistant in the Department of Biological Sciences at Texas A&M University.