The Hilton Head Ethics Seminar was founded in August 2001 by a small group of Hilton Head Island residents under the leadership of Dr. Howard Radest. Founded as the Hilton Head Ethics Seminar, the group was subsequently renamed the Ethics Society of Hilton Head Island.
Following his long career as a professor of philosophy and Director of the School of Human Studies at Ramapo College of New Jersey, Dr. Radest had retired in the early 1990’s.
His retirement from Ramapo transitioned into an Adjunct Professorship of Medical Ethics and Comparative Religion at the University of South Carolina/Beaufort where he lectured between 1992 and 2002. He also chaired and served as a consulting member of the Bioethics Committee of the South Carolina Medical Association. While engaged in his distinguished career as a professor of Ethics and Religion, Dr. Radest became a prolific writer. He was the author of nine books on ethics, the last published in 2009 entitled, Bioethics: Catastrophic Events in a Time of Terror.
In addition, we have been fortunate to have other scholars and academics among our members, who have individually presented certain ethical topics for further group discussion. One such scholar was Dr. David Kelly, whom we also wish to recognize and extend our appreciation for his past mentoring and many outstanding, educational presentations. When Dr. Kelly joined our Society he had recently retired from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh where he was Professor and the Founding Director of the Duquesne University Health Care Ethics Center. Though he is no longer a resident of Hilton Head, David’s many interactive presentations have left an indelible lasting memory for those of us who attended and participated in his presentations.
Gerry Schroeter and Neil Funnel co-chaired the Ethics Society of Hilton Head Island for many years. In January 2019, Gordon Haist, PhD was nominated and elected Chair of the Board of Directors. Dr. Haist had recently retired from USCB as Professor of Philosophy and was also a colleague of our founding Director, Howard Radest.
Chair Haist reappointed a board of directors for 2019, who then thanked retiring co-chairs Gerry Schroeter, Neil Funnell and Isam Sakati for their many years of leadership and service. In addition, former Chair Gerry Schroeter was asked to serve as Communications Chair, Isam Sakati was asked to remain in service as Sergeant-at-Arms, and Steve Asheroff was named Treasurer. Betsy Doughtie has since become our treasurer and Board secretary. (See Directors Page)
Presently, the Hilton Head Island Ethics Society continues to meet six times a year. Our policy of no membership dues remains intact, however we occasionally welcome small donations to offset operating expenses. When possible we feature two speakers with opposing or contrasting views on a topic of interest, followed by open discussion with all members present. Between 50 and 75 regular members attend our meetings.
Updated January, 2022
Dr. Howard B. Radest
We wish to pay tribute to Dr. Howard B. Radest, without whom our history could not be written. The Society regrets his passing on October 11, 2014. We want his followers and our members to know that we continue to honor him for his leadership and as a pacesetter in the study, education and discussion of the most prevalent ethical issues confronting us today.