It’s currently two days into finals week at LMU, and I am almost completely done with my junior year of college! Isn’t that incredible?! I can still remember my senior year of high school around this time when I came to LMU for my new student registration. It feels like the time has just flown by, and just yesterday it was my first day of classes as an incoming freshman and I was terrified. The more time I spend here, the more this school feels like home. I look forward to starting every year, and all of the events that a new year brings.
One of the events that I look forward to the most during the year is awards night. I’m not going to lie, I kind of freak out when I get an email saying that I have been invited to the event. It’s such an honor to be invited, and I get to dress up all pretty and, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love that?
Basically awards night is an annual event at which the university awards scholarships to students who excel academically, are in leadership roles, and/or have good performance in music, sports, and their specific majors. These scholarships are credited towards each student’s tuition for the following academic year on top of the institutional aid they may receive.
This year I was fortunate enough to be awarded three additional scholarships. These included a donor-based scholarship, a scholarship for excelling in my leadership role on campus, and a scholarship for excelling in the biology department. There were 264 students students to receive $540,000 in scholarships at this year’s award night, and all of them were very much deserving. If you excel during your time at LMU, the university will reward you for your hard work.
Because we are a smaller, private university, the ceremony itself was very intimate, and each student is individually recognized and introduced. Then you make your way to the front, accept your scholarship and get to pose for a picture with the president of the university, presently Dr. B. James Dawson. Personally, I see the president as some kind of celebrity and I feel like a movie star or something when I get to pose for a picture with him. He’s actually really active with the student body and extremely kind. In fact, this year at the awards ceremony he posed for a “selfie” with a student accepting an award! How awesome is that?!
Another factor of our awards night that I believe sets LMU apart from other schools is that we actually get to interact with the donors that provide much of the funds for our scholarships. There is a banquet held each year along with the awards night ceremony at which students and the donors of their scholarships get to eat dinner together and get to know one another. I think this is an excellent opportunity for students and benefactors to intermingle and get to know one another.
In addition to the banquet, LMU gives each student that receives a scholarship on awards night the opportunity to send a hand-written thank you card to the donors directly. I was quite surprised when I heard about this aspect of the scholarship process and was honored to be able to reach out to the donors of my scholarship and thank them directly.
As I am finishing out of my sixth finals week at LMU, I am reminded of how thankful and blessed I am to attend this university. It is so satisfactory to be rewarded for the time, effort, and hard work I put into my studies. These times may be stress-filled, but I always leave for the summer with a strong feeling of accomplishment and pride in my school.
As always, feel free to follow my blog to keep up with my ‘wild’life. Have you ever received an award from your school or university at an awards night? If so, what is your school/university’s awards night like? I would love to heard about it.