On April 28, Fairleigh Dickinson held its first-ever Twombly Awards. Similar to the Maddy Awards, this event recognized freshmen who stood out in several different categories.
The idea originated with Lindsay Grettner, a GA from last year, and current Resident Assistant, Jackie Radcliff. Radcliff was inspired by the Maddy Awards and decided to hold an awards ceremony for freshmen so they could see that others were noticing their actions as well.
Radcliff and Kaitlyn Pickerelli, another RA, explained that they get to know the freshmen well as a result of living with them for an entire academic year. They are proud of every accomplishment their residents have made, and felt this event would be the perfect way of showing them that.
There were multiple people involved in making the event happen. Radcliff and Pickerelli ran the program, but they had many people assisting them along the way.
They included GAs Kevin Herbert and Anthony Pace, Danushi Fernando, Dean of Students Jas Verem and multiple other RAs.
They began by choosing the categories for the awards. These ranged from talent-related ones such as best actor, vocal talent and best athlete, to personality-based awards like “Mr./Ms. Sunshine” and individuality. There were several quirky awards as well, including most clumsy, “movie guru” and “Jersey Shore” (which was for a student who is similar to the cast of that show).
The RAs could choose any freshman, not only the ones from their floor, or leave the category blank if they were uncertain, which led to some sections having more nominees than others.
From there, an email was sent out to all freshmen for them to select the winners from the nominees. Voting was online and anonymous.
Once the voting period ended, the votes were tallied to determine the winner of each category. An award video was then created to display at the event.
The video showed the names of the nominees and winners to a background of music and a voiceover by Verem himself, reading each name. Radcliff and Pickerelli gathered pictures from the nominees to display when they won, and selected songs specific to each category, such as “I’m Bringing Sexy Back” by Justin Timberlake for the category of “Best Dressed Male.”
The RAs also created a logo of the Devil in a tuxedo with a top hat for the show, which included refreshments, decorations and performers. For example, Alexandra Landau sang “All That Jazz” to open the event.
“Basically, we had to create and design the awards ceremony from scratch,” said Pickerelli.
Isaac Leggett, a senior at FDU, entertained students for about 15 minutes until the main event began.
After a few words by Verem and Landau’s performance, they moved on to announcing the winners.
Several categories in, technical problems occurred so that the video could no longer be viewed. Audience members could still hear the video and were able to cheer on the nominees they knew as their names were read off.
An RA opened each category with a statement and winners were announced in the style of the Academy Awards.
Winners received a trophy showing the year, “1st Annual Twombly Awards” and the name of their category. Time was allotted for speeches by the winners, but few freshmen actually chose to say anything.
Although there were students who were happy with the winners, there were some who were disappointed. Some students even left, but Radcliff believes that this just “showed that people were very invested in the awards and cared about them.”
“Although we were sad to see some of the freshmen leaving upset, they should keep in mind that the freshmen class voted for them. It won’t ever take away from the fact that they were nominated,” said Radcliff. She later added, “even if you didn’t win, there are people who see the great things you do.”
The Twombly Awards will continue each year. Despite some technical problems, Radcliff believes the show went well.