By Drue Watkins
From 5:30 – 7 p.m. on April 16, the Cameron University Office of Campus Life held its annual University Awards Ceremony in the McCasland Ballroom of the McMahon Centennial Complex.
The ceremony is based around presenting accomplishments, honors and awards to faculty, staff and students who are from Cameron.
This year’s honors include: Who’s Who Among College Students; Top 20 Outstanding Students and Top 10 non-traditional students; Student Leadership and Programming Awards; Outstanding Student Organizations; Advisor, Professor, Staff Member and Program of the Year; and the installation of the 2019-2020 Student Government Association Officers.
Any member of the campus community may submit a nomination for each award, with the submissions then being reviewed and decided upon by the awards committee. A list of past award winners may be found on the University Awards section of Cameron’s website.
Director of Campus Life and main organizer of the ceremony Leslie Cothren said Cameron began planning the Awards Ceremony in the Fall semester by soliciting nominations for the various awards, and then continuing into the Spring semester by evaluating the submitted nominees and selecting the award winners.
Cothren also said she believes the ceremony is an important standard for the university, and that it’s a strong way to highlight high-accomplishing staff, faculty and student members.
“Our students work really hard and juggle a lot of different things,” she said. “I think it’s important to acknowledge all their hard work.
“Additionally, the student recognition process begins by asking faculty and staff for student nominations—this allows students to be recognized for their work both inside and outside of the classroom.”
Twenty Cameron students won the Who’s Who award—an accomplishment that recognizes student involvement on campus, as well as high-performance in the classroom.
Following the Who’s Who announcements, 11 different CU organizations earned the 5-Star rating.
The purpose of the 5-Star rating is to recognize student organizations that act to make a positive impact on both Cameron and the Lawton/Fort-Sill community.
Cothren said she hopes award winners gain positive experiences from the ceremony.
“I want them [winners] to know that others acknowledge all their hard work and the sacrifices they made,” she said. “I really enjoy the surprise awards. The ones where the winners don’t know before the ceremony that they are winning them.
“From my vantage point during the ceremony, I could usually see where they were sitting, and I liked seeing the look on their face when they realized they are winners.”
To end the ceremony, event organizers announced the last major award winners.
Cothren said that while she loved the actual event, she loved seeing the response afterward more.
“Award winners and their supporters hung around after the ceremony to take photos and celebrate with each other,” she said. “Those award winners are truly proud of their accomplishments, and they should be.”
Immediately following the ceremony, organizers held a reception for attendees to talk with and congratulate all award winners and their family members.
For more information on the awards ceremony, contact the Office of Campus Life at 580-581-2217 or Leslie Cothren at email@example.com.