With Dixie State University’s 2016 commencement emerging, an event created to honor its best and brightest students will tag along.
The Dixie Awards are scheduled for the night before commencement, and students have the opportunity to shine in the spotlight as they are awarded for their success during their collegiate career.
“[The Dixie Awards] have been around for as long as everybody knows,” said Dean of Students Del Beatty, chair of the Dixie Awards committee. “It recognizes the best and the brightest [DSU] has to offer.”
The Dixie Awards have two categories: academic awards and general awards, Beatty said.
According to the Dixie Awards website, the academic winners are determined by the faculty and staff from their particular department, and the general awards are selected by a review process after a nomination is made.
The most prestigious awards are the Female Student of the Year and the Male student of the Year because they are hard to receive, Beatty said.
Beatty said the only general award students can apply for is the Dixie 11 Award, which started in 2014 and recognizes 11 bachelor students who excel in academics, involvement and community service.
“We wanted students to be able to apply and tell us what they’ve achieved academically, and also, as far as service and the community (involvement),” said Alumni Director Kalynn Larson.
In order to apply for the award, Larson said students have to be seniors and on the high honor roll.
Mark Marinch, a senior integrated studies major from Las Vegas, said he received a letter from the school encouraging him to apply because of his GPA, and he recently gained the award.
“I looked into it, and it seemed like it was gifted to a group of people I would like to be a part of,” Marinch said.
Besides his academic success, Marinch said he qualified for the award because of his involvement in the community and on campus. Marinch said he’s volunteered at the Alpha Hospice, the Children of Hope Academy, and with Dixie Premed Alliance. He’s also a baseball player for DSU and a teacher’s assistant for the biology department.
“Receiving this award means that all of my efforts to do my best in the classroom and be a part of the great St. George community were not in vain,” Marinch said. “It solidifies years of hard work and leaves my mark at Dixie.”
Beatty said he encourages students to come to the awards ceremony because usually only students who receive the awards and their families come.
“It’s a lot like the Academy Awards,” Beatty said.