Hollins Captures 2024 VFIC Ethics Bowl Title

Hollins Captures 2024 VFIC Ethics Bowl Title

Academics, Accolades and Awards, Special Events

January 30, 2024

Hollins Captures 2024 VFIC Ethics Bowl Title Ethics Bowl 2024 Batten Trophy

Following two days of competition with collegiate teams from across the commonwealth, Hollins University is the champion of the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges’ (VFIC) 24th annual Ethics Bowl.

Presented by TowneBank, the event was held January 28-29 on the Hollins campus.

Hollins team members included Merritt ’24, a philosophy major; Shasta Power ’26, who is double majoring in philosophy and classical studies; and Zoe Simotas ’25, a double major in political science and Spanish. Associate Professor of Philosophy James Downey and Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy Charles Lowney are the Hollins Ethics Bowl team’s faculty coordinators.

Student teams from Hollins and 14 other leading independent colleges and universities from Virginia deliberated a variety of case studies related to this year’s theme, “Ethics and the Environment.” Since it was launched in 2000, the Ethics Bowl has presented more than 120 different cases based on ethical dilemmas in contemporary life.

Zoe Simotas ’25 (left) and Merritt ’24 (center) listen as Shasta Power ’26 presents during third-round competition.

At each Ethics Bowl, professionals from a variety of fields, including business, law, education, finance, journalism, and others, listen to four rounds of team presentations and award points based on their evaluations. The two top teams advance to the final round of head-to-head competition, which this year featured Hollins and the University of Lynchburg. The winner, as determined by the judges, receives the coveted Batten Trophy, named for the event’s initial funders, Jane and Frank Batten. The winning school displays the trophy on their campus until the next Ethics Bowl.

“The Ethics Bowl serves as a testament to the quality of not only VFIC students but also the colleges and universities in our consortium,” said VFIC President Matthew Shank. “Our schools provide a broadly pragmatic liberal arts and sciences education in environments that value and encourage ethical leadership and responsible citizenship. And our faculty teach by initiating academic challenge. VFIC students are astute, informed, and articulate.”

This is Hollins’ second Ethics Bowl championship; the university won its first title in 2014.

At the event’s annual dinner on Sunday night, January 28, the VFIC honored Jane Parke Batten, a member of Hollins’ class of 1958, for her dedication to higher education, her community, and the Ethics Bowl program. She is a civic leader, community volunteer, and VFIC Honorary-Life Board Trustee from Virginia Beach.

Top photo (left to right): Hollins President Mary Dana Hinton, Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy Charles Lowney, Shasta Power ’26, Merritt ’24, Zoe Simotas ’25, and Associate Professor of Philosophy James Downey celebrate Hollins’ Ethics Bowl victory.