Musician Ling-Yu Lee was named Talent of the Year during the 2015 Crystal Crest Awards. Photo credit: The Signpost archives
Musician Ling-Yu Lee was named Talent of the Year during the 2015 Crystal Crest Awards. Photo credit: The Signpost archives

Dubbed the “Academy Awards” of Weber State University by many, the Crystal Crest awards honor outstanding individuals within the WSU community.

This formal event is held every spring and wraps up the year.

Emma Clark, coordinator of student programming, is in her second year of helping put together the award ceremony. The event comes together for one night but Clark says that the planning for the event takes all year.

“The idea behind it is to recognize those students, faculty and staff on campus who have gone above and beyond,” Clark said.

The Crystal Crest awards are divided into 10 categories and anyone who attends or works at Weber State is qualified to win one. Talent of the Year, Man of the Year and Woman of the Year are just a few of the categories students, staff or faculty can be nominated for. The nominations are submitted through Crystal Crest’s webpage at until Feb. 10 at midnight.

“It’s a prestigious award,” Clark said. “It’s something that’s great on a resume. It’s something you can take with you throughout your life.”

In 2010 and 2012, the award for top male athlete went to Damian Lillard, who is currently playing with the Portland Trailblazers. Last year’s talent of the year went to Ling-Yu Lee, who began playing the piano at six and has since won various competitions.

Kyle Froerer, who is a senior and activities team vice president, has spearheaded the collection of nominations throughout campus.

“It’s kind of a three-phase process for Crystal Crest,” Froerer said. “All the people (who have been nominated) get an email.”

Nominees are then able to accept the nomination and then proceed to fill out a form with questions that help the selection team narrow down their choices. The next step is to get together with the selection committee, which is comprised of three students, one faculty and one staff member, for an interview.

“We’re trying to broaden our reach so it’s not a biased selection where we have everybody that we all know. We’re trying to reach out to other areas across campus,” Clark said about the process of finding members for the selection committee.

The selection committee picks a winner from five finalists in each category and the announcements are made at the Crystal Crest award ceremony, which will be held in April. It’s held in the ballrooms of the Shepherd Union Building and the dress is formal attire.

“This is the most formal event that Weber State holds,” Froerer said. “It goes from someone typing at a computer to someone being on stage.”

One aspect that stands out for Clark is the excitement on students’ faces as they attend the award ceremony.

“The excitement on their face and the realization that they are being recognized— something that they have done, others are realizing and recognizing them for the great personality that they have or the great skills and qualities that they have,” said Clark. “You see so much excitement and it’s the reward that they let you take away from that.”

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