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President's Blog

Ethics Bowl Champions, 2011!

Sweet Briar won the VFIC Ethics Bowl yesterday! (And — wait for it — they beat Hampden-Sydney for the win.)

(Yes, that’s Roger Mudd in the photo with our team; he is co-chair of the Ethics Bowl committee and a VFIC trustee.)

This year’s topic was “Ethics and Privacy.” Our team’s coach, Philosophy Professor Kevin Honeycutt, stopped by my office this morning to show me the plaque and to tell me all about the victory (this year I was unable to attend in person, although I posted about serving as a judge last year.) He said that the judges praised our team not only for clear thinking and articulate presentation but also for coordination and collaboration among teammates.

The Ethics Bowl proceeds as a series of debates on topics of applied ethics. Leaders from the business, educational, civic, and legal communities in Virginia serve as judges and moderators.

To me, this victory pretty much sums up everything a Sweet Briar education should be about. Students take the lessons they’ve considered in courses from across the curriculum and apply them to making sense of specific and realistic ethical dilemmas. They are judged on their ability to analyze key aspects of the cases they’re assigned, to define terms and concepts coherently, to argue their positions cogently and to respond to questions directly, and to make their points persuasively to people from a wide variety of backgrounds. They need to think on their feet, confront challenges, and disagree with their opponents respectfully yet vigorously. In short, they need to be liberally educated thinkers and powerful communicators.

So, Holla Holla, Catherine, Jennifer, Kathryn, and Samantha!

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  1. [...] may recall that last year’s team took first place; because several of last year’s competitors graduated, this year Professor Kevin Honeycutt [...]