By: Sean Ditmore/ Guest Editor
In the words of Fabian Franco, Mr. Wayland himself, the WBU Academy Awards were held “for somewhere between the 50th and 100th time” last Friday night in the Fair Theatre.
There was also an unambiguous first on Friday night, as the school sponsored its first dance. The dance served as the after-party following the awards and was held at the Country Club.
The Awards Ceremony
The Academy Awards ceremony honored the most entertaining student-produced music and home videos.
“Videos by the people, of the people and for the people,” declared Franco, who co-hosted the event with reigning Miss Wayland Kristen Blakely.
This year’s theme was “Hollywood Spotlight.”
Student Activities and the Student Union Board managed the ceremony. The task fell largely on the shoulders of Wayland’s Coordinator of Student Activities Ericka Miller, and of its Director of Student Leadership Teresa Moore.
Moore takes delight in the event each year.
“I love it,” she said. “The students are great; it is one of the best parts of my job.”
The future of the event has become as opaque as its past in recent years. There has been talk among those who direct the show of discontinuing the annual event and of replacing it with a different formal event of some kind.
Such discussion has been driven by the high production costs of the music video element of the program and also by the student body’s underwhelming participation in making their own music videos for the Awards show.
“The company that produces the music videos is expensive to hire out,” Moore said. “We can only give so many of the awards to the same people every time.”
“We’ve considered doing something formal where everyone could dress up, but nothing cheesy.”
“There was such outcry, however, that we kept the format the same.”
In spite of the outcry that has helped salvage the event thus far, Moore insisted that submission of music video entries did not substantially increase for this year’s edition of the Awards.
While the music video component of the show may be seen as lagging, home videos are making their presence felt as an increasingly critical part of the Awards.
Moore believes that this is due to the greater amount of creative freedom that is offered by that format.
“The students can do whatever they want,” Moore said. “They don’t have to just lip-sync to a song.”
Besides music videos and home videos, the evening also featured “live performances” by “artists” such as N’ Sync, and the Jonas Brothers.
Senior Tyler Roye won the lifetime achievement award from the “academy.”
Typically the award is given to the member of the student body who has been at Wayland the longest; hence 5th and 6th year seniors.
The award was given to Roye, however, because he had won more awards from the academy in his time at Wayland than any other current student.
Danielle Arnold enjoyed being one of the musical stars.
“It was fun being in the N’SYNC dance and the other acts were good as well,” Arnold said.
Senior Jarrod Lindsey was among what seemed to be a majority of students who enjoyed the Awards.
“It was the best Academy Awards that’s been here in the last 4 years,” Lindsey said.
His peers Joe Brown, and Ben Cox concurred. Brown recalled one particular moment as his favorite.
“The brotherhood YMCA video was the best one,” Brown said.
Cox enjoyed himself and also came away from the ceremony a bit surprised.
“It was pretty ballin’. I can’t believe they played some of those videos, not gonna lie,” Cox said.
Zane Crook, also a student, enjoyed the show but did not leave totally satisfied mainly due to a video that was not entered.
“It was decent,” Crook said. “I walked away disappointed because I heard a video didn’t get submitted that would have won.”
Following the Academy Awards ceremony, Wayland held a dance sponsored by the school. It was a historical moment for the University, as it was the first school-sponsored dance ever thrown by Wayland.
Teresa Moore hailed the dance as a huge success.
“Our students are the best, and they proved it last night,”she said. “I had many of the students come up to me and tell me ‘thank you, thank you.’”
The dance was held at the Country Club and ran from 9 p.m. until midnight.
Dr. Claude Lusk, Wayland’s Vice President of Enrollment, indicated that the possibility of the school sponsoring a dance had been discussed for an extended period.
“We probably have been discussing it for about a year and a half or two years with the administrative cabinet and the board of trustees,” he said.
Both Lusk and Moore feel that it is likely that the school will want to do some thing similar in the future.
“We’ll talk about the dance last night,” Lusk said. “I feel like it’s going to be something we’re going to do again.”
Moore believes the dance was a good idea and is optimistic about the possibility of another one in the near future.
“We’re open to more because of the responsibility that the students showed last night,” she said.