Giant Food recently announced its fiftieth anniversary as primary sponsor of the Emmy-award winning show It’s Academic, America’s foremost high school quiz show and the Guinness Book of World Records longest running TV quiz show. In addition to its support for the program, Giant has awarded more than $2.4 million in scholarships to participating schools over the last 50 years.
“Giant Food is thrilled to celebrate fifty years as a sponsor of the excellent television show It’s Academic,” said Gordon Reid, President of Giant Food of Landover, Md. “Since it began in 1961, It’s Academic has become an institution where knowledge is celebrated each week and the importance of keeping students engaged and excited about learning is acknowledged. We are very proud to be part of this historic institution and recognize the important role it fills in our communities recognizing students for academic excellence in a competitive and entertaining environment.”
The iconic show, created in 1961, features local high school teams which compete on a variety of topics including history, literature, science, math, sports and current events. Each year, 171 secondary schools from across the region compete on the program. The show is hosted by WTOP-FM news anchor Hillary Howard in Washington, D.C. and David Zahren in Baltimore.
“Building and maintaining community support for education is a never-ending process,” said It’ Academic producer, Susan Altman. “Giant’s recognition of this is demonstrated every Saturday morning through its long-term partnership with It’s Academic. We couldn’t ask for a better sponsor, and the community couldn’t ask for a more dedicated corporate citizen.”
It’s Academic was created by Sophie Altman and hosted by longtime beloved quizmaster Mac McGarry, who served as the show’s quizmaster until his retirement in 2011. Prominent It’s Academic alumni include former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, New York Senator Charles Schumer, Maine Senator Angus King, best-selling mystery author Laura Lippman, former Washington Post Chairman Donald Graham, journalist and author David Ignatius, Oscar-winning producer Bruce Cohen, Tony-winning playwright Mark O’Donnell, and TV anchor George Stephanopoulos, among others.
Giant began sponsoring It’s Academic in the Washington, D.C. area in 1967, while later sponsoring the program in Baltimore and Charlottesville, Virginia. The show currently airs in Washington on NBC4 (WRC-TV), in Baltimore on CBS 13 (WJZ-TV), and in Charlottesville, Virginia on NBC 29 (WVIR-TV.)