HBU places second, American History and Western Civilization Challenge Bowl

The Houston Baptist University team of Paul Hoyt, Jacob Phillip and Kenneth Peters were finalists in the first American History and Western Civilization Challenge Bowl, presented by the American Heritage Education Foundation, Saturday at the Doubletree-Hilton Hotel at Greenway Plaza.

The Sam Houston team earned 644 points to better the 596 points earned by the HBU team. The students earned points by presenting oral essays and answering toss-up and bonus questions.  This Challenge Bowl is the first of annual competitions and is modeled after the early radio and television college quiz shows of the 1950s and ‘70s.

Sam Houston winning team members each received $2,000 scholarship awards, and the HBU team members each received $1,000.


Houston Baptist University gained its spot in the finals by besting the Texas State University team in the semifinals on Friday, and Sam Houston won over the Texas Southern University team. Each member of the TSU and Texas State University teams collected $500 in scholarship funds.

Judges for the event were Dr. Stephen Balch, director of the Institute for the study of Western Civilization, Texas Tech University, and Dr. Robert Koons, professor of philosophy and co-founder of the Western Civilization and American Institutions program at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. John Tyler, professor of Law and Society and Humanities at HBU, was moderator.

The HBU coach was Dr. Gary Hartenburg, assistant professor of philosophy and director of the Honors College. He said, “We competed against teams from much larger schools than HBU and represented HBU well with a second-place finish. The team members all demonstrated a breadth of knowledge in key areas of the liberal arts, a testament to HBU’s commitment to liberal arts education.”

The American Heritage Education Foundation (AHEF) is a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization dedicated to the understanding and teaching of America’s factual and philosophical heritage to promote constructive citizenship and freedom, unity, progress and responsibility among students and citizens.