By Sarah Frick, Staff Writer
The 21st annual student leadership banquet will be held on April 13, 2013 at the University of Maine Farmington (UMF); an event organized and sponsored by Student Senate in order to highlight leaders in the UMF community.
The banquet is a time for leaders across campus to come together and bond over their passion for the bettering of the university. “The students of this campus are working together for a common goal to improve life for students while providing activities for student involvement,” said Tracy Norwood, chair of the banquet committee.
To celebrate the achievements of the year, several awards are offered for eligible student leaders. The awards not only recognize current leadership, but also maintain the importance of former leaders because they are in honor of past leaders. These awards, including the Michael Winston and Jill Schwab Underclassman Award, are based on a student’s letter of recommendation and a judgment by the Student Senate committee. In addition to these awards, the clubs around campus are also given the opportunity to choose 2 members for the “Above and Beyond Award.” “These awards,” said Norwood,“ recognize members of the club whose efforts have gone above the average for this current school year.”
Faculty members are also recognized at the banquet with awards such as the “Theo Kalikow award.” This award is in honor of UMF’s former president Theo Kalikow, who built up the university not just academically, through new programs, but also physically by ways of new construction. The award in her honor is given to a member of the faculty who has shown not only dedication, but a commitment to the school and willingness to encourage positive changes for the campus as a whole.
Another highlight will be this year’s surprise speaker. “A keynote speaker is chosen for every banquet to address points of leadership, how they became a leader, and what qualities are make for successful leaders,” said Norwood, “Last year’s keynote speaker was former President Theo Kalikow.” The speaker will inspire the attendees to continue their good work on campus and also give new ideas about how to establish oneself as a leader or maintain their leadership status.
The event is open to all clubs on campus through invitation. Many attending are looking forward to meeting with fellow leaders on campus. “I’m excited to see what it’s all about and learn more about the opportunities on campus,” said Emily Chambers, a freshman at UMF.
“The goal of every UMF Leadership Banquet is to honor students who participate in clubs and organizations that help further students’ success and teach them important lessons in leadership,” said Norwood, speaking on behalf of the Student Senate.
The leadership banquet is not just to recognize past successes, it is also to encourage future progress on campus.