Annual Sammys are back in season

by Joe Ashley

Contributing Reporter

This semester Student Activities is hosting the 29 annual Sammys. It is set to take place April 12 at 6:00 p.m. in the James & Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center.

The Sammys is a ceremony that recognizes students, organizations and faculty/staff that demonstrate leadership on campus.

This is done by students completing nomination forms for people or organizations they believe should be nominated for an award.

There are three different award categories ranging from individual, organization and individual college. Each category has various awards that people or organizations can be nominated for.

“Since there’s more than one category for students to win, it also provides an opportunity for staff to potentially win, student organizations and even departments, I think that it’s really special,” Assistant Director for Traditions & Special Events Breanna Provost said.

The Sammys also has one additional award called the Sam Houston Cane Award. This award is meant to recognize other entities of the university that do not fall into the other categories. The winner of the Cane award is selected by the Sammys Selection Committee.

The nomination forms are due by 5:00 p.m. Friday Feb. 10. Students are able to turn in completed forms at the Lowman Student Center Suite 215 or by emailing them to

The nominations are all confidential, and the winner of each award is announced at the ceremony. The committee will decide on the winners in early March, according to Provost.

After the student, organization or faculty/staff are nominated there is still more work for them to do. Nominees are required to fill out an application and send a letter of recommendation in order to be eligible for the award.

Someone who is familiar with this process is Foundations Science Lab Coordinator Dr. Steven Koether, who was the winner of the Sammy Award for faculty/staff in 2019.

“It was an honor because it’s such an integral part of our campus and our culture,” Koether said. “I was honored to even be nominated and to have colleagues think that highly of me at the time. It felt good, you know.”

With so many faculty/staff on campus, Koether was surprised when he found out he had been nominated.

“You don’t do community work or service work for recognition,” Koether said “I had warm fuzzies and it felt good to know that people appreciated it and it was noticed.”

The Sammys also holds a luncheon in the weeks following the ceremony for everyone that won an award that year.

“They introduce you to another group of people and you get to talk a little bit more to folks in a calmer setting,” Koether said. “It’s appreciated.”

The Sammys has put on an impressive display for nominees in years past.

“It’s really professionally put together,” Koether said. “Everything from the ambiance, to the lighting, the way you are greeted and the table settings were very formal. You recognize how special it is to the bearkat community.”

The Sammys offers people on campus a great opportunity to get recognized for the work they have done on campus and in the community. Even for those who do not win an award, there is still much to be proud of.

“I think it’s really special for any person that’s even nominated,” Provost said. “Even if they aren’t selected by the committee, I think that even being nominated is a huge honor.”

 While people have worked hard to get there, Koether gives people advice about the opportunities available at the ceremony.

“Enjoy the moment,” Koether said. “Make connections. There are people in the room that are great advocates for students and the community. I’m sure they all know each other already, but it’s just a great group of people. If you’re there you’re in good company.”

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