Albany State University prepares to compete at Honda Campus All‐Star Challenge National Championship

Team makes plans to bring home the $75,000 grand prize for Honda Campus All-Star Challenge

ALBANY, Ga. – After diligent preparation, Albany State University will go head-to-head with fellow Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) at the 28th annual Honda Campus All‐Star Challenge (HCASC) National Championship Tournament.

Teams from 48 HBCUs will compete in the final round of the academic tournament April 8‐12 on the American Honda Motor Co., Inc. campus in Torrance, Calif. Albany State University has the opportunity to win the HCASC top prize ‐ a $75,000 institutional grant from Honda.

“This is my second year on the team, but my first year as captain,” said Spencer Touat, a junior, forensic science major from Norcross, Ga. “Last year, we made it to nationals. We were told that we were only beaten by one or two questions and that we did well. My goal is to lead the team to do even better and to win.”

This year's road to the championship began in the fall, with 76 HBCUs vying for a spot in the finals. Through countless hours of study, drills and practice, 48 elite teams emerged, knowledgeable and ready to take on the competition.

"Honda congratulates Albany State University for qualifying for the 'Great 48,' an impressive feat in itself," said Steve Morikawa, vice president, of Corporate Relations and Social Responsibility at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "We're constantly amazed by the academic prowess, teamwork and level of competition during Honda Campus All‐Star Challenge and look forward to crowning a champion in April."

HCASC tests students' knowledge, skills and ability to quickly and accurately answer questions on world history, science, literature, religion, the arts and popular culture.

“Bonding of the team is most important. If the team works well, then learning how to play the game becomes second nature,” said Coach John Williams, professor in the ASU Department of Natural and Forensic Science. Williams isn’t new to the competition, the ASU alumnus served as captain for the ASU Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Team from 1999 to 2003. He also served as the 2016 coach.

Training for the competition began last fall. Students practiced three days a week to prepare for the tournament.

“It’s fun meeting other people from HBCUs, and I love proving that even though Albany State is not always recognized, we have really smart students here,” said the team’s co-captain, Norma Davis. Davis is a junior majoring in biology from Detroit.

The 2017 HCASC finals will be live‐streamed on Monday, April 10 starting at noon ET on For more information on HCASC, including a full list of the 48 qualifying teams, visit

Honda Campus All-Star Team

  • Spencer S. Touat (Captain), junior, forensic science major, hometown:  Norcross, Ga.
  • Mercedes J. Fortune, sophomore, forensic science major, hometown: Tappahannock, Va.
  • Norma Davis, junior, biology major, hometown: Detroit
  • Alexis Taylor, sophomore, forensic science major, hometown:  Honolulu


About Albany State University …
Albany State University, in Southwest Georgia, has been a catalyst for change in the region from its inception as the Albany Bible and Manual Training Institute to its designation as a university. Founded in 1903 to educate African-American youth, the university continues to fulfill its historic mission while also serving the educational needs of an increasingly diverse student population. A progressive institution, Albany State University seeks to foster the growth and development of the region, state and nation through teaching, research, creative expression and public service. Through its collaborative efforts, the university responds to the needs of all of its constituents and offers educational programs and service to improve the quality of life in Southwest Georgia. For more information see Follow the university on Twitter at @AlbanyStateUniv  and on Facebook at Albany State University Official Page.

About Honda Campus AllStar Challenge

Celebrating HBCU excellence, Honda Campus AllStar Challenge (HCASC) is one of Honda's largest and longest running philanthropic initiatives in the United States. Since 1989, the program has awarded more than $8 million in grants to participating HBCUs, impacting the lives of over 125,000 students across 22 states. The participating HBCUs share in grants from Honda of over $350,000 each year.