Accessibility Navigation:


May 2017
Dave Perry lectures on "Should Battlefield Euthanasia Be Legalized?" in Ermatingen, Switzerland, at a conference hosted by the Center for Military Medical Ethics, University of Zurich.

April 2017
Our Ethics Forum series features Thaddeus Mason Pope of Hamline Law School on "Withholding Food and Fluids in Cases of Advanced Dementia: An Ethical and Legal Choice?" and Margaret Wurth of Human Rights Watch on "Child Labor in U.S. Tobacco Farming."

March 2017
Richard Sharp, professor of biomedical ethics at the Mayo Clinic, addresses "Ethical Issues at the Dawn of Genomic Medicine." And John Moskop, professor of biomedical ethics at Wake Forest University Medical School, lectures on "Realizing the Promise of Advance Directives."

February 2017
John Roth, emeritus professor of philosophy at Claremont McKenna College, speaks on "Failures of Ethics: Comprehending Genocide and Atrocity." Natalie Connell '19 and Will Naso '18 are selected by the Mayo Clinic to be Vann Fellows in Biomedical Ethics Research, and Allison Cowie '18 and Dana Marerro '18 are chosen to be Ethics Interns at Human Rights Watch in New York.

October 2016
In a forum hosted by the Honor Council and cosponsored by the Vann Center, men's basketball coach Bob McKillop speaks about "Honor: Trusting, Committing, Caring."

September 2016
Our Ethics Forum series features Zama Coursen-Neff '93 of Human Rights Watch on "Children Under Fire: Protecting Students, Teachers, and Schools During War," and a panel moderated by information literacy librarian Sarah Crissinger on "Access to Research, Sci-Hub, and the Honor Code: Ethical Dilemmas," including economics professor Dave Martin and chief information officer Rae Clemmons. In addition, Maggie Stalker '17 and David Robinson '17 report on their summer work as Vann Fellows in Biomedical Ethics Research at the Mayo Clinic, Cate Dorigan '17 and Patrick Spauster '17 speak about their summer research as interns at Human Rights Watch, and Riley League discusses "Non-Interference, Independence, and Status: A Multi-good View of Freedom," which he wrote under the supervision of philosophy professor Dan Layman as a Donchian Research Fellow in Ethics.

August 2016
Religion professor Doug Ottati outlines several ideas under the heading of "Ethics Across the Curriculum," and Tom DeMarzo '17 discusses "Environmental Concerns and Freedom of Speech in China."

April 2016
Peter Hess of the Davidson College economics department speaks on "Preventing and Alleviating Poverty: What Works and What Doesn't Work." See his related paper and supplementary tables. And Robert Lawrence of Johns Hopkins Schools of Public Health and Medicine speaks about "Ethical Concerns about the U.S. Food System," during a two-day symposium organized by Haley Rhodes '16 and Sarah Dwyer '16, cosponsored by the Vann Center. Dave Perry speaks to the Rotary Club of North Mecklenburg on comparative religious ethics and war.

March 2016
Jasper Vaughn '16 gives a presentation on "Ambiguous Peace: Christian Ethics and Palestinian Nonviolent Resistance," based on research he did in Israel and Palestine. The controversial topic, "Professor-Student Relationships: Consent or Coercion," is addressed by a panel featuring English and comparative literature professor Billie Wright Dziech of the University of Cincinnati, and Davidson College professors Cynthia Lewis (English) and Sean McKeever (Philosophy). Several outstanding Davidson students are awarded prestigious fellowships and internships this summer in connection with the Vann Center:  Maggie Stalker '17 and David Robinson '17 will work at the Mayo Clinic as Vann Fellows in Biomedical Ethics Research. Cate Dorigan '17 and Patrick Spauster '17 will be in New York working as Ethics Interns for Human Rights Watch. And Riley League '18 has been awarded a Donchian Research Fellowship in Ethics, mentored by Dr. Dan Layman.

February 2016
The Ethics Forum series features two panel discussions:  "Accountability for Torture and Extraordinary Rendition: North Carolina Connections," with Christina Cowger and Jessica Porta of the N.C. Commission of Inquiry on Torture, Col. (Ret.) Lawrence Wilkerson, and Vann Center director Dave Perry; and "Ethics in Migrant and Refugee Policies," with Joseph Carens of the University of Toronto, legal aid attorney Rona Karacaova, Elon University law professor Heather Scavone, and professor of religion Douglas Ottati of Davidson College, hosted by Elizabeth Welliver '16 and Jose Balcazar '19. Dave Perry publishes an op-ed in the Davidsonian, "Honor Is More about Fairness than Trust."

January 2016
Yong Cai, assistant professor of sociology at UNC, Chapel Hill, lectures on "The Impact of China's Population Policies" for the Center's Ethics Forum series.

October 2015
Haley Rhodes '16 lectures on "Women's Rights and Children's Welfare: Reflections on Guatemalan Research." Lawrence Nelson of Santa Clara University discusses "Current Controversies at the Intersection of Law and Bioethics." English professor Alan Michael Parker moderates a panel on "The Good Writer: Literary Ethics and the Literary Artist," featuring poet/sculptor Amy Bagwell, novelist/playwright Jeff Jackson, and visiting assistant professor of English L. Lamar Wilson. "Ethics in Information Access" is addressed by information literacy librarians Sarah Crissinger and Cara Evanson, and assistant professor of biology and environmental studies Kevin Smith.

September 2015
"Should North Carolina Abolish Capital Punishment?" is the topic of a panel hosted by Rishabh Aggarwal '16 and Rachel McKay '17 of Davidson Amnesty International, featuring attorney and public defender Paul Welch '76, history professor Dan Aldridge, MacArthur assistant professor of political science Andrew O'Geen, and Dave Perry of the Vann Center. Mackenzie Sumwalt '16 and Sarah Taylor '16 reflect on their summer work as ethics interns at Human Rights Watch in New York. Ana Iltis of Wake Forest lectures on "Organ Donation: Eroding Respect for Informed Consent and End-of-Life Decisions through Law, Policy, and Professional Practice." Attorney Ron Gibson '74, president of the North Carolina Bar, moderates a panel on "Ethics in Legal Services" featuring Judge Calvin Murphy and attorneys Faith Fickling, Ted Fillette and Henderson Hill.

August 2015
Akanksha Das '16 and Max Feinstein '16 present findings at the Mayo Clinic from their work as Vann Fellows in Biomedical Ethics Research: Akanksha on "Long-Term Impairments in Survivors of Critical Illness Requiring Mechanical Ventilation," and Max on "An Analysis of Prognostic Counseling of Patients with Idiopathic REM Sleep Behavior Disorder and Incidental Polysomnographic REM Sleep without Atonia."

June 2015
Along with political reporter Jim Morrill of the Charlotte Observer, Dave Perry hosts officials from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal and Maldives, for conversations on ethics and corruption in government. Sponsored by International House in Charlotte on behalf of the State Department.

April 2015
An interview of Dave Perry by reporter Blake Hanson on "The ISIS Threat" airs on Channel 9 TV in Charlotte on April 22, 2015.

March 2015
A panel discussion on "Ethics in Government" includes Charlotte Mayor Dan Clodfelter '72, political science professor Susan Roberts, Ph.D., and Charlotte Observer reporter Jim Morrill, with Dave Perry moderating. History professor Dan Aldridge, Ph.D., lectures on "Race, Class, and Our Criminal Justice System." Mackenzie Sumwalt '16 and Sarah Taylor '16 are selected to be summer ethics interns at Human Rights Watch in New York.  Dave Perry participates in a panel discussion on physician-assisted suicide, hosted by Medical Humanities.  He also publishes an article in the Army War College journal Parameters on "Battlefield Euthanasia: Should Mercy-Killings Be Allowed?" (PDF) and gives a presentation on that topic to Fellows of the Horace Williams Philosophy Discussion Group in Charlotte. 

February 2015
The Ethics Forum series features: Richard Wrangham, Ph.D., on "Are We Wired for War? Comprehending and Mitigating Human Violence;" Denis Arnold, Ph.D., on "Multinational Corporate Ethics: Managing Labor Conditions;" and Paul Bloom, Ph.D., on "How We Develop Morally: Fascinating Insights from Recent Psychological Research." Dave Perry presents "The Ethics of Torture" to prospective students and their parents. Akanksha Das '16 and Max Feinstein '16 are selected as Vann Fellows in Biomedical Ethics Research at the Mayo Clinic for the summer of 2015.

January 2015
Professor of Religion Douglas Ottati, Ph.D., presents "Love Your Enemies: The Teaching of Jesus and the Crusading Dynamic of Reactionary Violence" in the Ethics Forum series. Dave Perry talks with Davidson College alumni in Seattle on "Ethics in Professional Life," and begins teaching a course on Ethics and Warfare.

December 2014
Lori Gruen, Ph.D., of Wesleyan University, lectures on "Our Responsibilities to Animals in Captivity, as Food, and in Experimentation," for the Center's Ethics Forum series. Dave Perry publishes an op-ed in the Charlotte Observer, responding to the U.S. Senate report on CIA interrogation tactics.

November 2014
The Ethics Forum series features Mayo Clinic biomedical ethicist Richard Sharp, Ph.D., on "The Future of Individualized Medicine: Aligning Patient and Provider Values," and CDR (Ret.) Porter Halyburton '63, speaking to an audience of over 630 on "Honor under Pressure: Reflections of a Former POW in North Vietnam."  Dave Perry speaks to the North Mecklenburg Rotary Club on "Ethics in Professional Life: Opportunities, Dilemmas, Puzzles and Challenges."

October 2014
Dave Perry attends the annual meeting of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, where topics include dilemmas for hospitals in handling Ebola patients, lingering debates about definitions of death re: organ transplants, uses and abuses of genomic testing, and access to contraception and abortion.

September 2014
The Vann Center forms a discussion group on economic poverty, comprised of 20 Davidson College faculty and staff with relevant expertise and experience. Ebrahim Moosa, Ph.D. of the University of Notre Dame kicks off the 2014-15 Ethics Forum series with a lecture on "Islamic Bioethics: Recent Debates about Brain Death and Organ Transplants."

August 2014
Dave Perry begins teaching a course on Ethics in Professional Life, focusing primarily on medicine, law, business and journalism.

June 2014
Dave Perry presents "Ethics and Warfare: Bridging Military and Civilian Perspectives" to Human Rights Watch staff and interns in New York, hosted by Zama Coursen-Neff '93, who is mentoring Davidson students Zara Riaz '15 and Colin Vaida '16 as interns in her Children's Rights division; Perry also explores creating a new intern position at the HRW office in Washington, D.C.

May 2014
Dave Perry presents "Thoughts on Transparency and Accountability" at International House in Charlotte, for the International Visitor Leadership Program hosted by the U.S. Department of State and Cultural Vistas. The audience includes leaders of government and nonprofit entities in Italy, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Serbia, Kosovo, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Moldova.

April 2014
Colin MacKay '16 is selected for a new Ethics Fellow summer position at Bank of America Charlotte. Yunxiang Yan, professor of anthropology at UCLA, lectures on "Changing Moral Values in Contemporary China."  Craig Carlock '89, CEO and president of The Fresh Market, addresses "Honor in Corporate America" (read a related article), hosted by the Honor Council. Prof. Perry is cited regarding ethics in espionage by "The Ethicist" in the The New York Times Magazine.  Zara Riaz '15 and Colin Vaida '16 are awarded summer internships at Human Rights Watch in New York City, funded by the Vann Center, and supervised by Zama Coursen-Neff '93.

March 2014
Judy Illes, professor of neurology and Canada research chair in neuroethics at the University of British Columbia, lectures on "Genes and the Brain: Ethical Issues at the Nexus of Genomics and Neuroscience."

February 2014
Martin L. Cook, Adm. James B. Stockdale Professor of Professional Military Ethics at the Naval War College, addresses "Ethics and the Changing Nature of War"; his visit is funded by the Richard Davoud Donchian Foundation. Julia Angwin, Pulitzer-Prize-winning investigative reporter for ProPublica, lectures on "Dragnet Nation: The Ethics of Privacy and Security in the Digital Age."

January 2014
Adam Hunter '15 and Hailey Cleek '16 are awarded Vann Fellowships in Biomedical Ethics Research at the Mayo Clinic for the summer of 2014; read a related article. A panel discussion on "Sochi 2014: Gender, Ethics, Sport," is hosted by Russian Studies and co-sponsored by the Vann Center. Dave Perry begins teaching a course on ethics and warfare.

December 2013
Along with student groups affiliated with Amnesty International, Half the Sky, and International Justice Mission, the Vann Center cosponsors a "Write for Rights" letter/petition campaign on behalf of human-rights advocates in several countries.

November 2013
Margaret Edson, educator and Pulitzer-winning playwright of Wit, speaks at an Ethics Forum on "Our Stories, Our Selves: Ethical Communication in Medicine," and visits classes in English and Theatre.

October 2013
The center hosts a panel discussion on "Gun Rights, Responsibilities, and Regulations," featuring Davidson professors Lance Stell and Andrew O'Geen, and law-enforcement officers Jeanne Miller, Carolyn McMackin, and Kerr Putney. Gloria Bui '14 and Betsy Gammon '14 describe their summer research experiences in biomedical ethics at the Mayo Clinic. Dave Perry lectures on "Using Software to Reinforce Academic Integrity: An Assessment of," and attends the annual meeting of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities.

September 2013
Zama Coursen-Neff '93 of Human Rights Watch lectures on "Promoting the Rights of Children in the Midst of Armed Conflict," speaks to Bonner Scholars, and promotes a new HRW student internship for the summer 2014 to be posted by the Center for Career Development and funded by the Vann Center. Steven Miles of the University of Minnesota lectures on "Ending Impunity for Physicians Who Abet Torture," and talks with Medical Humanities classes about his book on the Hippocratic Oath; his visit is funded by the Richard Davoud Donchian Foundation.

August 2013
Dave Perry moderates a discussion among Davidson College freshmen of ethical issues in biomedical research raised in Rebecca Skloot's book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. He also begins teaching a Writing 101 class on Evaluating News and Commentary.

July 2013
Comments by Dave Perry are broadcast in a story reported by Kathryn Burcham on Charlotte's WSOC-TV, "Nine Investigates: State Investigators Look into Allegations against EMTs."

May 2013
Monroe Freedman of Hofstra Law School lectures on "Jury Nullification: What It Is, and How to Do It Ethically"; his visit is funded by the Richard Davoud Donchian Foundation. Perry co-directs a workshop at the University of Richmond on Teaching Ethics in International Affairs, funded by the Associated Colleges of the South. 

April 2013
Ethics Forums feature: David Schwartz on "Consuming Choices: Ethics in a Global Consumer Age"; Oxford University theologian Nigel Biggar on "Christian Love and Forgiveness in the Context of Human Conflict," and "The Role of Religious Ethics in Contemporary Liberal Society"; and Jim Murphy '78, John Young and Jon Rowan on "Ethics in Sports."

March 2013
Stanford Law Professor Hank Greely addresses "The End of Sex: The Future of Human Reproduction" for the center's Ethics Forum series.

February 2013
The Vann Center hosts an expert panel discussion on "Ethics in the Media," featuring: David Boraks, Editor of; Glenn Burkins, editor of; Stuart Watson, investigative reporter for WCNC-TV in Charlotte; Rafael Prieto Zartha, editorial director, Qué Pasa Mi Gente, Charlotte; and Candace Cummins Gauthier, professor of philosophy and religion, UNC Wilmington; moderated by Dave Perry; part of the Lecture Series on Ethics in Professional Life, funded by the Richard Davoud Donchian Foundation. Betsy Gammon '14 and Gloria Bui '14 are awarded Vann Fellowships for Biomedical Ethics Research at the Mayo Clinic for the summer of 2013.

January 2013
Dave Perry is interviewed on KPBS radio in San Diego about ethical issues regarding torture as portrayed in the film "Zero Dark Thirty."

December 2012
Ethics Forums feature "Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide" by The New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, and "Business Ethics in Today's Global Economy" by Richard De George of the University of Kansas. On Reading Day, Vann Center staff team with student groups affiliated with Half the Sky and Amnesty International to write letters and collect petition signatures on behalf of prisoners of conscience and women's rights advocates.

November 2012
The Vann Center co-sponsors "What It Means: The 2012 Election and the Future of America" by The New York Times columnist David Brooks. The Vann Center enhances its social media sites by adding videos, links, announcements, and photos; follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Vimeo, and Google+.

October 2012
Dave Perry leads a workshop for elementary and secondary school teachers on "Critical Thinking about Ethics," co-sponsored by the Teaching Fellows Institute of Charlotte. Kelsey Lenz '13 and Ashley Parker '14 travel with Perry to hear several fascinating lectures in Washington, D.C. at the annual meeting of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. Ethics Forums feature Carl Elliott '83 on "Abuses of Mentally Ill Homeless People in Biomedical Research," and Bishop John Shelby Spong on "Can Christianity Survive the Prejudice of Christians? A Revolution in Faith and Ethics." Spong's visit to Davidson is also featured in a article by David Boraks.

September 2012
The Vann Center cosponsors with Medical Humanities an Ethics Forum on "Lowering the Price of Hope: Delivering on Innovation and Access to Technologies for Global Health," by Anthony So of Duke University. Amber MacIntyre joins the Vann Center staff as program coordinator. Perry lectures at Gaston College on the history of ethical views on killing and war in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

August 2012
Dave Perry along with Matt Gossage, Head of the Cannon School and member of the Vann Center's Advisery Board, speak at a symposium on character education for elementary and secondary education teachers, hosted by the Teaching Fellows Institute at Charlotte. Perry publishes an op-ed in the Charlotte Observer originally titled "Beyond Akin's Gaffe" but printed as "Which Party Is Extreme on Abortion? The Republicans"; and he begins teaching a course on Business Ethics and Consumer Responsibility.

July 2012
Dave Perry visits the Mayo Clinic to hear presentations by Spencer Wilson '13 and Ashley Parker '14, the inaugural Vann Fellows in Biomedical Ethics Research, and to meet their primary faculty/staff mentors. The Vann Center funds two students serving as Community Engagement Fellows for Habitat for Humanity, supervised by Kristin Booher of the Center for Civic Engagement.

June 2012
The Richard Davoud Donchian Foundation agrees to fund 2-4 Vann Center-hosted lectures on Ethics in Professional Life in 2013. The Associated Colleges of the South accepts a proposal by two professors at the University of Richmond and Perry to fund a workshop in 2013 on the Teaching of Ethics and International Affairs. John Medlin, a founding member of the Vann Center's advisery board, dies at age 78. Perry is quoted in a USA Today article about mistreatment of enemy dead by U.S. Marines in Afghanistan.

May 2012
Dave Perry is interviewed on British radio station Monocle 24 regarding a news story about a Saudi-CIA agent who had foiled an Al Qaeda bomb plot.

April 2012
Our Ethics Forums feature: Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks (right) on "The Role of the Artist in Social Justice"; Michael Hyde on biotechnology; Walter Sinnott-Armstrong on "Ethics and Neuroscience"; and "The Economic Outlook" with panelists Jay Bryson, John Connoughton and Douglas Hicks '90.

March 2012
Ethics Forums include: Paul Mueller of the Mayo Clinic on "Ethical Aspects of Withholding and Withdrawing Life-Extending Technologies;" and Vann Center student fellow Elizabeth Crowder '12 leading discussion of a film on human egg donation called "Eggsploitation," in connection with the publication of her op-ed piece on that topic in the Davidsonian. Dave Perry leads a conversation among Leadership Davidson students on "Justice in a Hypothetical 'State of Nature," and lectures on "Assassination and Targeted Killing" at a symposium hosted by the University of Richmond.

February 2012
Davidson students Spencer Wilson '13 and Ashley Parker '14 are awarded prestigious Vann Fellowships for Biomedical Ethics Research at the Mayo Clinic in summer 2012; see the press release by Bill Giduz. Ethics Forums feature: Shannon Walters McFayden '82 on "Business Ethics, Corporate Culture and the Influence of Leaders;" Kathleen Hall Jamieson of the University of Pennsylvania on "How Today's Consulting Tactics Could Have Unseated Lincoln;" and Robin Lovin of Southern Methodist University on "Continuity and Change in Christian Ethics."

January 2012
Dave Perry begins teaching a writing/composition course for first-year students on Evaluating News and Commentary.

December 2011
Vann Center staff host a letter-writing initiative in the Alvarez Student Union in support of prisoners of conscience in China, Bahrain, Iran, and Syria in connection with Amnesty International's annual "Write for Rights" campaign. Perry speaks to the Charlotte Dilworth South End Rotary Club on "Ethics in Business and Professional Life: Opportunities, Challenges, Dilemmas and Puzzles."

November 2011
Two annual fellowships in biomedical ethics research at the Mayo Clinic are established for Davidson students, thanks to a generous gift from Jim '50 and Lee Vann. Ron Green of Dartmouth College speaks about "Babies by Design: The Ethics of Genetic Choice" at a Vann Center Ethics Forum. Dave Perry discusses "Becoming a Responsible Consumer" with Graham Bullock for a Common Hour event organized by Hayden Higgins '12 of the Environmental Action Coalition.

October 2011
Ethics Forums this month: Kristie Middleton of the Humane Society of the United States speaks about "The Animals We Eat: Improving the Quality of Their Lives" (a detailed article on her visit by Katie Lovett '12 is published at; and George Lucas, Jr., of the Naval Academy addresses "Postmodern War: Contemporary Ethical Issues in Technology and War-Fighting." Dave Perry publishes an op-ed essay in The Davidsonian on "N.C. and Gay Marriage" (originally titled "Fear and Loathing in Raleigh"). The center sponsors Student Fellow Elizabeth Crowder '12 and Kate Stewart '12 to attend the annual meeting of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities.

September 2011
Ethics Forums feature: Rebecca Weidler '12, president of the Gay-Straight Alliance, and Davidson professor Doug Ottati speaking to a standing-room-only crowd on "The Question of Gay Marriage;" and Taina Bien-Aime of Equality Now discussing that organization's work promoting the legal rights of women around the world. Dave Perry leads three discussions of ethical issues and principles at Davidson College Presbyterian Church, and advises faculty and administrators at Washington & Lee University regarding the creation of a new ethics center there.

August 2011
Dave Perry leads a small group of first-year students in an Orientation Service Walk and in discussion of Neil White's memoir, In the Sanctuary of Outcasts, and begins teaching Ethics and Warfare. An Ethics Forum is hosted on "Contraception and Abortion: Ethics and Public Policy," featuring Jessica Bearden Laurenz of Planned Parenthood Health Systems in Raleigh, NC, and Perry. (Perry's and Bearden Laurenz's remarks are available.)

July 2011
Dave Perry leads an "ethics across the curriculum" discussion among Davidson faculty and staff of Ronald Green's book, Babies by Design: The Ethics of Genetic Choice, and some related articles on genetic testing. (Green will speak on November 13 for a Vann Center Ethics Forum.) Carrie Mahoney works long hours for Davidson's July Experience.

June 2011
Dave Perry chairs a panel at an international conference on military ethics (Euro-ISME) in Paris, France.

May 2011
Dave Perry is interviewed about the Vann Center's purpose and origins by Jeff Tolly '10 for a Pod'cats podcast posted in late June. The Vann Center acquires its own Facebook page.

April 2011
Ethics Forums include: Michael Marsicano, president and CEO, Foundation for the Carolinas on "Ethical Dilemmas in Community Service and Philanthropy"; a student panel on "Ethics at the Edges of Life" moderated by Vann Center Student Fellow Courtney Marshall '11, with panelists Meredith Ashooh, Elizabeth Crowder, Will Denison, Bobby DesPain, Lauren Wright; a panel on "Ethics and End-of-Life Decisions" with Abdulaziz Sachedina, University of Virgina, and Davidson professors Andy Lustig and Lance Stell.

March 2011
Six Davidson ethicists (all members of the Vann Center's advisery board) teach sessions for Alumni College on "Ethics: Theory and Practice:" Lance Stell on "Right and Justice at the Margins;" Sean McKeever on "The Ethics of Performance-Enhancing Drugs in Sport;" Kristie Foley on "Ethical Issues in Medical Decision Making;" Andy Lustig on "Biotechnology and the Human Future: The Ethics of Altering Nature;" Doug Ottati on "Critical Questions in Christian Ethics;" and Dave Perry on "Ethics in War and Intelligence Operations." Ethics Forums include: a viewing of "Living in Emergency" with a panel discussion on Doctors Without Borders and international humanitarian aid, moderated by Vann Center Student Fellow Sara Bates '11 and featuring Verna Case, Ken Menkhaus and Lance Stell; and a panel on "Ethics and Performance-Enhancing Drugs in Sports," moderated by Vann Center Student Fellow Anna Stringfield '11 and featuring Jim Murphy '78, Lewis McAlister '13, Sandy Helfgott and Sean McKeever. Perry attends an Undergraduate Bioethics Conference at Duke University, speaks to Chidsey Fellows about ethics and leadership, and publishes a review of Michael Gross' Moral Dilemmas of Modern War, in the Army War College journal Parameters.

February 2011
The Vann Center co-sponsors several Ethics Forums: Chuck Goolsby on "The Problem of Sex-Trafficking in Latin America;" an expert panel on "Violence against Women: The Scope of the Problem and Efforts to End It;" (hear podcast) slide show and lecture by Carol J. Adams on "The Sexual Politics of Meat;" and a panel of Davidson College economists Dennis Appleyard and Vikram Kumar on "The Economic Outlook." Dave Perry visits Oxford University to lecture on "Ethical Considerations in Recruiting and Handling Espionage Agents," and speaks locally to residents of the Pines retirement community about comparative religious views on ethics in warfare.

January 2011
Dave Perry begins teaching a course on The Moral Status of Humans and Other Animals, and presents a paper on "Battlefield Euthanasia: Should Military Mercy-Killing Be Allowed?" at the annual meeting in San Diego of the International Society for Military Ethics. The center co-sponsors lectures by Andrea O'Reilly on "The Making of Modern Motherhood: Ideologies and Practices of the Good Mother," and Sam Wells, Dean of Duke Chapel, on "Places of Encounter: Hanging Out Where God Shows Up."

December 2010
Dave Perry presents "Ethical Issues and Principles related to Tube-Feeding" to doctors and nurses at FirstHealth of the Carolinas Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst; his comments and references are available here. Vann Center staff and student fellows collect signatures to accompany letters to foreign officials in support of human rights in China, Iran and other countries, in conjunction with Amnesty International's Write for Rights campaign.

November 2010
Ethics Forums this month: Prof.r Ken Menkhaus speaks on "Humanitarianism on Trial: The Collision of State-Building, Counter-Terrorism, and Humanitarian Operations from Afghanistan to Somalia," and Prof. Peter Ahrensdorf addresses "Values, Loyalties, and Tragic Conflict in Sophocles' Antigone." Dave Perry talks with alumni at Homecoming about "Ethics and War in Comparative Religious Perspective." In support of Davidson students initiating a Philosophy for Kids program in a local elementary school, the Vann Center provides them with copies of William Damon's The Moral Child: Nurturing Children's Natural Moral Growth.

October 2010
Our Ethics Forums feature Ronald Arkin on "Military Robots: Ethics and Lethality in Autonomous Systems," and Noah Pickus of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University, who shared findings from his Immigration Policy Roundtable (podcast available). Perry facilitates a discussion of "Justice" with Davidson's Bonner Scholars. He later speaks at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio on "PhDs, MDs and the DoD: The Participation of Non-Military Professions in Torture, Interrogation, and Counter-Insurgency Efforts," during a Peace & War Summit hosted by the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence.

September 2010
The Vann Center appoints several outstanding students as fellows: Sara Bates, Nick Carney, Julian Lemke, Courtney Marshall, Clare Perry and Anna Stringfield for 2010-11, and Elizabeth Crowder and Spencer Zepelin for 2011-12. Read about their accomplishments here. Ethics Forums include: Harvey Cox of Harvey CoxHarvard Divinity School on "Jews, Christians and Muslims: Religious Dimensions of Peace-Making in the Middle East;" Paul Bloom of Yale on "The Moral Life of Babies: Surprising Evidence of Moral Judgment in Young Children," and Susan Roberts, Pat Sellers and Mac McCorkle on "Ethical Dilemmas in Election Campaigns."

August 2010
Dave Perry facilitates a student discussion of Brian Turner's collection of poems, Here, Bullet, in connection with new student orientation. Perry begins teaching a course on Ethics in Professional Life, focusing on the professions of medicine, journalism, and law.

July 2010
Dave Perry discusses ethical issues in synthetic biology with participants in a workshop hosted by faculty in biology and mathematics for participants from 15 colleges around the country. The main entrance to the Vann Center is fitted with a handicapped-access ramp, and red bricks replace the old concrete sidewalk.

June 2010
Dave Perry conducts a workshop on "ethics across the curriculum" for Davidson faculty and staff, drawing primarily on James Rachels' Elements of Moral Philosophy. He also writes a review of Michael Gross, Moral Dilemmas of Modern War, to be published in the Army War College journal Parameters.

May 2010
The Vann Center hosts an Ethics Forum, "From the Underground Man to the Grand Inquisitor: Exploring the Human Condition through Dostoevsky," led by Professor Amanda Ewington and her students. Questions about ethics in organ transplants and a controversial incident in the Iraq war are posed on the "On Balance" blog. Several stellar ethics papers by Davidson students are posted on Vann Center websites. Dave Perry speaks to Davidson alumni in Charleston, S.C. on highlights from the college's Celebration of Honor and Integrity in 2009-10.

April 2010
The Vann Center hosts Ethics Forums on: "Moral Questions from the Works of John Milton," led by Dr. Randy Ingram and his students; "The 2008 Financial Crisis and the Regulatory Reaction: What Went Wrong, and Why Is So Little Being Done in Response?" by Dr. John Coffee, Columbia University Law School (see slides); "Ethics in the Legal Profession," with Judge Calvin Murphy '70, Judge Frank Whitney, and attorneys E. Fitzgerald Parnell and Ron Gibson '74; and "Museums and Looted Art: Ethics, Law, and Cultural Property," by Frank K. Lord IV '89. Dave Perry gives presentations on his book Partly Cloudy during an Undergraduate Ethics Conference sponsored by the Prindle Institute at DePauw University in Indiana, at an Executive Forum sponsored by UNC Charlotte's Center for Professional and Applied Ethics, and for Reunion Weekend at Davidson College. Perry is elected to a three-year term on Davidson's Student Conduct Council.

March 2010
The Vann Center hosts Ethics Forums on: "Is Religious Belief Immoral?" by Professor Paul Studtmann with a response by Professor Doug Ottati (read response or hear podcast); "Human Rights in Latin America," led by Professor Matt Samson and his students (podcast available); and "Shakespeare and Moral Wisdom: Reflections on Macbeth and The Merchant of Venice," led by Professor Cynthia Lewis and her students. Dave Perry gives presentations on his book Partly Cloudy during "author meets critics" and "lunch with an author" sessions at the Association of Practical and Professional Ethics annual meeting in Cincinnati, and for an "Ethics and Public Policy" course at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

February 2010
"Christian Ethics and Living Wages: The Case of Wal-Mart," by Marjie Harmon '10, and "Forgiveness, Reconciliation and Justice: Reformed Theological Ethics in South Africa and the U.S.," by Hannah Lyon '10, highlight the Ethics Forums hosted by the Vann Center. Podcasts available. "On Balance" blog topics address consumer responsibility and the moral status of human embryos.

January 2010
The Vann Center hosts an Ethics Forum on "The Ethics of Gossip," led by Professor Maria Fackler and her students. The center launches a new interactive blog, "On Balance," with a question of selective conscientious objection: Should soldiers be able to choose their wars? Perry chairs a panel discussion on the moral and legal status of noncombatants for an International Society of Military Ethics conference in San Diego, and begins teaching a course on Business Ethics and Consumer Responsibility at Davidson.

December 2009
Dave Perry serves on a panel with Capt. Scott Prince '76 in a forum on "The Torture Debate" (hear the podcast). Vann Center staff and student advisers host an all-day letter-writing effort in the College Union on behalf of individuals in foreign countries imprisoned or threatened for their work in human-rights advocacy.

November 16, 2009
Vann Center Dedication

The Vann Center for Ethics is formally dedicated in a series of events (see photos), including a ceremony honoring donors Lee and Jim Vann '50, and a discussion of ethics and sports with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, moderated by Vann Center Director Dave Perry and co-sponsored by the William H. Terry Scholars Program. A podcast of the discussion is available.

November 2009
A timely panel examining the political, economic, and ethical aspects of health care reform is co-sponsored by the Vann Center, the Medical Humanities Program, and the Public Lectures Committee: presentations are made by Pat Sellers of Davidson College, Michael Lawlor of Wake Forest University, and Rosamond Rhodes of Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. Dave Perry hosts Army lawyer Colonel Tom Ayers to discuss contemporary ethical dilemmas facing our military: Ayers visits his Ethics and Warfare course and has informal meetings with ROTC students. Carrie Mahoney and Perry greatly expand the Vann Center's online Resources in Ethics. In cooperation with the Davidson African Students' Association and other campus groups, the Vann Center co-sponsors "South Africa: From Apartheid to Democracy;" a lecture by Antoinette Sithole, whose brother died in the Soweto Uprising. Sohail Hashmi of Mt. Holyoke College leads an Ethics Forum on "Ethics and War in the Islamic Tradition." Perry is featured in a Davidson College "In Focus" article online. He lectures on interrogation and torture for Susan Roberts' political science course, "The Presidency."

October 2009
An article about the Vann Center by Kelly Wilson appears in The Davidsonian online. The Vann Center and the Sustainability Office co-sponsor a panel discussion on the ethics of waste disposal, featuring David Martin, professor of economics, Beth Christenbury, director of purchasing, and Kealy Devoy, sustainability fellow. Carrie Mahoney compiles a list of ethics-related courses at Davidson College and posts them on the center's website. Prof. Jeff Holzgrefe of Emory University School of Law and Agnes Scott College lectures on "Can a counter-terrorism strategy be both successful and moral?" co-sponsored by the Vann Center and the Dean Rusk International Studies Program. Jan Blodgett, college archivist, Tom Shandley, dean of students, and Athan Makansi '10, chair of the Honor Council, take part in a panel discussion of "The Davidson Tradition of Honor and Integrity."

September 2009
The Vann Center hosts its first Ethics Forum, a presentation by Dave Perry on "Ethics and War in Comparative Religious Perspective." Perry is appointed to the Advisery Board and Executive Forum of the Center for Professional and Applied Ethics at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Dr. Lance Stell gives a presentation on "Physicians' Integrity and Ties to Industry." In cooperation with Justice Dialogues and other campus groups, the Vann Center co-sponsors a lecture by Haleh Esfandiari, an Iranian-American scholar who was arrested in Tehran in 2006 and detained in solitary confinement for 105 days. Perry serves as a judge for mock-trial competitions between pre-law students from Davidson College and the University of South Carolina. Perry recruits a Student Advisery Group to evaluate the Center's programming and plan future events. Perry finalizes a strategic plan for the center, in consultation with college faculty, administration, and donors.

August 2009
Carrie Mahoney joins the center staff as program assistant. Dave Perry facilitates small-group discussions among freshman of Tobias Wolff's novel, Old School, and posts comments on a Davidson College discussion blog. Perry begins teaching a fall semester course on Ethics and Warfare.

July 2009
Dave Perry begins work as director of the Vann Center. A press release written by Perry with Bill Giduz of College Communications, entitled "Assassination Is Wrong, but Targeted Killings Are Okay?!" is cited online in InterestAlert, Newswise, The City Wire, and AScribe: The Public Interest Newswire. Perry drafts a 2009-10 strategic plan for the Vann Center, including a strategic vision, core values, and objectives in relation to key stakeholders.

May 2009
Dave Perry's book, Partly Cloudy: Ethics in War, Espionage, Covert Action, and Interrogation, is published by Scarecrow Press.

April 2009
Davidson College appoints David Perry, professor of ethics at the U.S. Army War College in Pennsylvania, to become the inaugural director of the Vann Center for Ethics. Bill Giduz of College Communications posts the announcement of that appointment with an extended interview of Perry on the college website.

May 2008
The Vann Center's Advisery Board approves its founding mission statement "to foster a broad-based interdisciplinary initiative to bring sustained focus to ethical decision-making and integrity of action and to promote rigorous inquiry and moral reflection on issues and conditions that range from local to global in their significance. The Vann Center teaches students to think self-critically with clarity, to make relevant and valid judgments, and to discriminate among values as they engage in lives of leadership and service."

September 2007
Jim (class of '50) and Lee Vann make a sizable donation to Davidson College to establish an ethics center.