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American History & Western Civilization Challenge Bowl™ (AHWCCB)

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American History & Western Civilization Challenge Bowl™ (AHWCCB)

The American History & Western Civilization Challenge Bowl™ (AHWCCB) is an academic competition and scholarship for college/university student teams who compete in their knowledge and understanding of Western Civilization and of America’s history, founding philosophy, governance, and civic institutions in order to determine America’s top colleges in educating students on these subjects.

The American Heritage Education Foundation (AHEF) initiated and sponsors AHWCCB™ to address a growing problem—the increasing deficiency in and need for strong civic education in our nation’s schools, culture, society, and citizenry.  Americans of all ages and backgrounds are increasingly uninformed about America’s founding history, principles, and civic institutions.  Further, many schools and colleges no longer teach or require students to take civics, American history, or Western Civilization—though such education is a fundamental responsibility of schools.  Studies and reports in the last 20 years confirm these trends.

The goals of the AHWCCB™ are:

1)  to encourage and incentivize college programs and students to teach and learn these subjects/principles, the American idea, and what it means to be an American;
2) to ignite excitement, engagement, humor, fun, and youthful appeal in the learning of America’s heritage;
3)  to improve understanding, appreciation, and love of the United States of America;
4)  to develop informed, patriotic leaders and contributors in American society; and
5)  to develop an educated citizenry essential to our self-governing republic.

Challenge Bowl 2017 026 (2)

With a competitive spirit, academic recognition, and financial incentives for student competitors and sponsoring schools, the AHWCCB™ aims to reignite the study of Western Civilization and America’s founding history and philosophy.  Such civic knowledge and understanding is one of the most important purposes of American education. AHWCCB™ also aims to encourage students to become well-informed, engaged citizens and contributors in society who are equipped to perpetuate and improve the realization of America’s founding values.  These outcomes benefit our nation and future.

Topics covered in the competition are relevant to America’s founding heritage.  Topics span from ancient, classical civilizations of the Hebrews and Greco-Romans to the medieval and modern eras including the Reformation, Renaissance, and Enlightenment to the history and founding of the United States of America.

AHWCCB Impact & Feedback:
AHWCCB Impact & Feedback:  Responses from Participating Professors & Students

Upcoming (TBA):  AHWCCB III










2019 Event Information:

AHEF’s second AHWCCB™ was held on January 25-26, 2019, at The King’s College in New York City!  Student teams from Grove City College, Abigail Adams Institute, James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, and The King’s College of New York competed for academic recognition and scholarship prizes at the 2019 event.  All students received scholarships of between $1,000-$4,000 according to their order of finish.

First Place:  Grove City College
Runner-up:  The Abigail Adams Institute

2019 Semi-Finals Essay Topic:
“Since the beginning of human history, most people have lived under some form of authoritarianism.  In such regimes, rulership was largely a matter of the elite few ruling over and living off of the unprivileged many.  Only during the last few hundred years has the idea of the constitutional accountability of government to the populace as a whole risen to prominence.  Discuss the philosophical and historical causes of the ascendancy of this idea, including key events, leaders, and reasoning.”

2019 Finals Essay Topic:
“Discuss the origins, development, and justification of the fundamental American idea that ‘all men are created equal’ (as in the Declaration of Independence).”  

Semi-Finals:  Friday, January 25, 2019
5 PM – Grove City College vs Princeton University
7 PM – The King’s College vs Abigail Adams Institute

Finals:  Saturday, January 26, 2019
2 PM – Finalists

The King’s College, 56 Broadway, New York, NY 10004 (City Room, 5th Floor)
212-659-7200 / 888-969-7200

Academic Curriculum Analyst:
The National Association of Scholars (NAS).  NAS is a network of scholars and citizens united by a commitment to academic freedom, objective scholarship, and excellence in American higher education.

Mr. Jeremy Tate, Co-Founder and President of the Classic Learning Test

Academic Teams:
Grove City College – Coach: Dr. Jason R. Edwards.  Student team: Noah Gould, Carolyn Hartwick, Elena Peters
Abigail Adams Institute – Coach: Dr. Danilo Petranovich.  Student team: Portia Berry-Kilby, Finnian Brown, Liam Warner
Princeton University – Coach: Dr. Russ Nieli.  Student team: Emerson Salovaara, Nicholas Sileo, Alvin Zhang
The King’s College of New York – Coach: Dr. Josh Kinlaw.  Student team: Michael Napoli, Ellen Rogers, Abigail Rose-Smith

Academic Judges:
-Dr. Stephen Balch,  Director of The Institute for the Study of Western Civilization, Texas Tech University; Co-Founder of the National Association of Scholars
-Dr. Robert Koons, Professor of Philosophy and Co-Founder of The Western Civilization and American Institutions Program, The University of Texas at Austin

WATCH:  Introduction to 2019 AHWCCB and AHEF’s History, Founding, & Mission
WATCH:  2nd AHWCCB Finals 2019 – Grove City C v Harvard U (NYC)

AHWCCB 2019 Printable Flyer (PDF)

Hosted by the American Heritage Education Foundation Inc. in partnership with The King’s College of New York.

In the news:
King’s to Host Western Civilization Challenge Bowl with Princeton, Harvard, and Grove City College, The King’s College, Nov 1, 2018
GCC Tapped for History, Western Civilization Challenge, Grove City College, Jan 18, 2019
The King’s College to Host Western Civilization Challenge Bowl with the James Madison Program at Princeton, the Abigail Adams Institute at Harvard and Grove City College, RFD TV, Jan 19, 2019
Grove City College Faces Princeton in History Challenge Bowl, The Business Journal, Jan 22, 2019
GCC Team Beats Harvard in American History Challenge, Grove City College, Jan 29, 2019
Grove City College Beats Harvard in American History Challenge, Butler Radio, Jan 30, 2019


2017 Event Information:

AHEF’s first AHWCCB™ was held on January 27-28, 2017 at the Doubletree Hilton Hotel in Houston, Texas.  Student teams from Sam Houston State University, Texas State University, Texas Southern University, and Houston Baptist University competed for academic recognition and scholarship prizes at the 2017 event.

First Place:  Sam Houston State University
Runner-up:  Houston Baptist University     

January 27 – 5 pm – Texas Southern University (TSU) vs Sam Houston State University (SHSU)
January 27 – 7 pm – Texas State University vs Houston Baptist University (HBU)
January 28 – 3 pm – Finals

Doubletree Hilton Hotel – Greenway Plaza (Edloe & Southwest Fwy)
6 Greenway Plaza East, Houston TX 77046 (lower level, Bluebonnet Rm)
Hotel phone: 713.629.1200

Academic Teams:
Houston Baptist University – Coach: Dr. Gary Hartenburg. Student Team: Paul Hoyt, Jacob Phillip, Kenneth Peters
Sam Houston State University – Coach: Dr. Brian Domitrovic.  Student Team: William Bailey, Scarlet Bolivar-Castillo, Chase Miller
Texas Southern University – Coaches, Dr: Jesse Esparza and Dr. Julie Quesada.  Student Team: Amber Brown, Sam Godswill, Sarah Smith
Texas State University – Coach: Dr. Rodolfo Hernandez.  Student Team: Michael Carandang, Evan Dominguez, Molly Williams

Academic Judges and Moderator:
Dr. Stephen Balch,  Director of The Institute for the Study of Western Civilization, Texas Tech University
Dr. Robert Koons, Professor of Philosophy and Co-Founder of The Western Civilization and American Institutions Program, University of Texas at Austin
Dr. John Tyler, Program Coordinator of Legal Studies and Professor of Government, Houston Baptist University

WATCH:  President Angela Kamrath’s Introduction to 2017 AHWCCB
  AHWCCB Judges Drs. Steve Balch and Rob Koons Support AHWCCB
WATCH:  AHEF Co-Founder Jack Kamrath’s Epilogue at AHWCCB
WATCH:  1st AHWCCB Finals 2017 – Sam Houston State U v Houston Baptist U (Houston, TX)

Free Admission.

For more information about AHWCCB 2017 see:  AHWCCB™ 2017, The Founding Blog,, Feb 3, 2017

AHWCCB™ 2017 Flyer

In the news:
SHSU Team Wins First History Challenge Bowl, Sam Houston State University, Feb 15, 2017
Culture Influencers:  John Tyler, Gary Hartenburg, Houston Baptist University, Feb 3, 2017
HBU places second, American History & Western Civilization Challenge Bowl™, Houston Baptist University, Jan 31, 2017
American Liberty and Principles of Western Civilization: Texas State team revives 70’s quiz show format, San Marcos Daily Record, Jan 24, 2017

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