“No matter how this competition ends, we just won.”
This was the mutual agreement between our team advisor, Professor J.R. Hustwit and myself, after hearing the MU team’s argument in their contest against Wake Forest. This was part of the annual North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities Ethics Bowl, recently held in Raleigh. The topic was “The Ethics of Diversity,” and the case centered around the importance of creating an economically diverse student body on a university campus.
Every university president wonders if his or her institution is investing in the right academic offerings, in the right educational methods, in the right extra-curricular activities, and in the right financial aid programs. Every news outlet in the country is asking if today’s higher education is worth the investment and if it is still relevant. The question is often posed, “What are the tangible outcomes after four years of university life?”
What we witnessed at the Ethics Bowl are the “intangible” outcomes of a quality, well-rounded, or what is sometimes called “liberal arts” education. I’m referring to problem solving skills, the ability to work as part of a team, the recognition of what is gained by working and living alongside those with very different backgrounds – all designed to prepare a graduate for the “real world.”
Without being prompted, the MU students cited their own university as a model institution for providing opportunities for all students, including those with modest resources and rich talents, to secure a quality education. In this environment, each student brings perspectives to the table that enrich the lives and experiences of his or her fellow students. So much is to be gained in a university setting through this exchange, rather than waiting until post-graduation. They went on to give their own team as an example, noting that they would not have had as transformational an experience on their Ethics Bowl team if not for the scholarship support that Methodist provides to ensure opportunities for bright and dedicated students from diverse economic and ethnic backgrounds.
You can’t make this stuff up.
Wake Forest won the match by one point and went on to be the 2015 Ethics Bowl champion, but that took nothing away from our students’ presentation and their genuine belief that “Methodist gets it right.”
Is higher education worth the investment? Is Methodist University worth the investment? Let the students speak for themselves.
We have the best students in America. That’s why I have the Best Job in America.
In reflecting on their presentation, one student commented that at the end of the case she wanted to chant my favorite cheer, “We are … MU!”
Yes indeed … we are.
And it keeps getting better.