Sammy Awards highlight best in campus leadership

Students, faculty, staff, and family members gathered in the James and Nancy Gaertner Performing arts center April 17 for the 19th Annual Sammys, Sam Houston’s rendition of the Grammys.

The ceremony began at 6 p.m. in the Payne Concert Hall of the P.A.C with an opening musical piece by the Department of Music’s jazz band. One of the emcees, mass communications junior, Alexis Bloomer, said the first words of the program, speaking out to a full house of eager bearkats.

On stage was the university’s Jazz Band, along with the university’s motto, “The Measure of a Life is its Service” projected on the back of the stage. The Sammys captures this in rewarding students for their service.

“Since 1995 the Sammys have recognized outstanding individual and organizational service to the universe and community” emcee, Octavia Brown, said.

Until recently, the Sammys recognized students individually as well as organizations and faculty. This year, Bearkats were acknowledged in a more refined way: by all six colleges. Students are nominated for the Excellence in Service award strictly by the faculty. There were 16 awards given out to individual students as well as whole organizations. Two students and two faculty membesr receive a “Sammy”, the last award of the ceremony.

Shortly after a few awards were given, Abby Douglass, a student of the College of Fine Arts and Mass Communications, put on an aerial dance show. Douglass danced in mid-air on a white cloth. The audience cheered for her throughout the performance. The dance was followed by a piano performance by Anna Smigelskaya of a fast paced song, receiving positive crowd reaction.

The women of Sam Houston have been hard at work. Angelic Ortiz, last year’s Miss Sam Houston, was nominated for two awards. Ortiz was winner of The Sammy Award.

“I remember being a freshman, and looking at a flyer for the Sammys. I took it home and thought I would never win a Sammy,” Ortiz said. “I had to have a pep talk with myself when I sat back in my seat.”

Terri Jaggers, current professor at Sam Houston, also took home a Sammy for the Department of Communication Studies.

The Sammys had begun 18 years ago in recognition of outstanding students, faculty, and staff, and organizations on campus.

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