Gardner-Webb Students Compete in Annual Ethics Bowl

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Competition Included Teams from 22 Private Schools

By Katie Furr, (’20) GWU Intern for Communications

The team from Gardner-Webb
The team from Gardner-Webb University included (left to right) Will Haas, Harley Burgess, Austin Lunde, Cassie Craig and Dr. Kent Blevins, faculty coordinator.

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Four students from Gardner-Webb University competed in the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities’ (NCICU) Ethics Bowl on Feb. 17 and 18. The event was held in the N.C. Legislative Complex in Raleigh and included teams from 22 private schools. The GWU team consisted of junior Harley Burgess of Forest City, N.C., freshman Cassie Craig and senior Will Haas of Lenoir, N.C., and freshman Austin Lunde of Cartersville, Ga. They were led by Dr. Kent Blevins, GWU Professor of Religious Studies.

“Every year, there’s a different theme,” Dr. Blevins explained. “This year, the theme was ethics in law. The students did a great job.” The team won against two other teams in the first round of competition. However, they lost to two other teams in the quarterfinal round, one of which was the eventual winner.

The Ethics Bowl offers a unique and beneficial experience for the students. “I decided to participate in Ethics Bowl because I was interested in working with people as a team to relay positions on topics and issues,” Craig shared. “It also was intriguing to me how we could talk about such controversial issues and have different views on them and still remain calm and civil with each other.”

Lunde was also impressed with the competitors. “The environment was very professional and respectful,” he observed. “Teams were very polite and courteous.”

Burgess, who has competed in the Ethics Bowl previously, shared some of its lasting benefits. “Participating in Ethics Bowl has given me hope that my generation—and the nation at large—is attempting to regain love and appreciation for discussion, debate, and critical thinking. It provides an amazing opportunity to meet wonderful people in a plethora of fields, and have a lot of fun along the way.”

Dr. Blevins also noted the skills that students develop during this competition. “It enhances their self-confidence, teamwork, and professionalism. It also helps students to think on their feet and be more articulate.” The students also built strong relationships with one another. Blevins added, “This year’s team came together in a way that was rare.”

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university that prepares students to become critical thinkers, effective leaders and compassionate servants in the global community. Emphasizing a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics, Gardner-Webb ignites learning and service opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. Ignite your future at