A championship ethos

Published 9:18 pm Tuesday, February 20, 2018

I’d like to commend Hampden-Sydney College (H-SC) students and staff for their consistent, outstanding success in the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges Ethics Bowl.

On Monday, Feb. 12, H-SC won the event for the third consecutive year, defeating its archrival, Randolph-Macon College, in the final round.

Some might wonder what I did when I went to take in the conclusion of the event last week — What is an Ethics Bowl? From my brief exposure to it, I would describe it as a well-mannered debate in which teams presented plans to most ethically navigate scenarios fraught with dilemmas, and the teams did this before a panel of judges that determined the winner.

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An H-SC press release highlighting the Feb. 12 victory stated that the winning team of senior Samuel S. Melson, junior Kole F. Donaldson, sophomore Shelby T. Hanna and freshman Bjore S. Samard “presented a logical and thoughtful argument to the final case, centered around religious traditions at private colleges, edging out their competition to an undefeated victory.”

The release stated the “cases debated throughout the competition involved real world dilemmas that affect people’s lives in increasingly complex ways, encouraging the students to think critically about practical situations. This year’s theme, Ethical Issues in a Multicultural Society, covered topics from religion to medicine to social work. Sixteen teams from 15 schools presented their analyses, positions and recommendations to panels of judges comprised of business, professional and educational leaders from across Virginia.”

H-SC contributed two of the 16 teams competing at the Ethics Bowl as host of this year’s event, school officials said in the release. Team Two was also impressive. It lost only one closely-contested round, and it was against the Randolph-Macon squad that advanced to the finals. H-SC Team Two included junior Jacob A. Clayton, junior Dalton P. Hall and sophomore Garnet S. Crocker.

Team Coach Dr. Patrick Wilson was quoted in the release as saying that Team One and Team Two brought out the best in each other across nearly two years of practice, and he credited the students’ success to their discipline, thoughtfulness and sensitivity to underlying ethical principles

The release concluded by pointing out that H-SC has been a consistently competitive force in the Ethics Bowl, winning five of the past seven championships and appearing in seven of the past nine championship rounds.

“I feel privileged to be working with such talented young men,” Wilson said in the release. “By demonstrating integrity and sportsmanship through many months of preparation and in the competition itself, the students have put ethics into practice.”

Well done, Hampden-Sydney men.

TITUS MOHLER is the sports editor for The Farmville Herald and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. His email address is Titus.Mohler@FarmvilleHerald.com.