Back to News Page



Date: February 13, 2003


            MONMOUTH – Over 75 high school students from Illinois and Wisconsin will visit Monmouth College on February 15th, as the college plays host to the first ever “Highland Brain Games” Scholastic Bowl Tournament.  The tournament is sponsored by ThinkLab, MC’s Academic Quiz Team, a division of Scotspeak – The Academic & Forensics Society founded last fall at the college.


      The teams will compete in round-robin play in the morning, to determine seeding for the afternoon playoff rounds. Trophies will be awarded to the top three teams and to the highest scoring player based on points per game.


Scholastic Bowl is one of the largest competitive activities in the United States. Nationally, the numbers of competitors in scholastic bowl and forensics are higher than sports like golf, tennis or swimming. “This is sport for these students. They practice and play hard, just like any athlete would. Yet, their GPAs exceed national averages.” says Ron Bronson, Jr., Founder of Scotspeak and ThinkLab.


      ThinkLab, - which was organized in October through Scotspeak – decided to host the tournament almost immediately after its inception. “After our second meeting, our members were talking about hosting our own high school tournament,” said Fanucce, who added that it is unusual for a new team to host a tournament months after it’s founding. “Running a tournament is very hard work, especially for a new team that hasn’t traveled much. But we have a dedicated group of members.” Scotspeak has emerged in six months to become one of the largest and most active organizations at the College with over eighty members.


Over fifty students and faculty, including many non-Scotspeak members have volunteered to help with the day’s events. They may serve as moderators, administration, scorekeepers and in other essential roles. In addition, the Education Department has authorized education majors to earn teacher aiding hours by serving as volunteers at the tournament. “Everyone has been extremely supportive of our efforts.” Says Fanucce.


      Campus tours have been incorporated into the schedule for the tournament, to show off the campus to many students who are likely to be looking at colleges during this time of year. “We want to put Monmouth on the radar for students who might not have known us before.” says Bronson.


      The tournament begins at 9am and all rounds will be held in Wallace Hall, except for the championship round which will be held in the Hewes Library Electronic Classroom. ThinkLab’s web site is available at