Image Awards

Joey Cottle, Guest Writer

The 2014 Image Awards represented a little known but long-held tradition of Ferris State scholarship, leadership and academic achievement.

Every year, students may nominate and vote for faculty, staff and other students to receive one of 21 awards doled out at the Ocsar-esque ceremony held in Williams Auditorium.

Some 200 students attended the ceremony on Friday.

Jordan Holiness, a junior at Ferris and president of RSO Black Leaders Aspiring for Critical Knowledge (BLACK), took away two awards. He garnered the Alpha Phi Alpha award and the Barbara Johnson RSO President Award.

“I think [the Image Awards] are a great way to recognize people who work hard, to show that whatever you do on campus, someone will recognize that you are working hard,” Holiness said.

This year’s ceremony was headlined by TV celebrity Paigion (pronounced “page-EE-on”). She is a former host of BET’s “106 & Park,” a pop-culture news and entertainment program.

Paigion, a Detroit native and a Western Michigan University graduate, hosted the event Friday with Ferris alumnus Michael Noble. She made the trip through extremely cold weather for an opportunity to support Ferris students and their achievements.

“That’s what it’s all about. I was here before, being a college student. Being a positive role model and being active in the community—that’s so important and it should be rewarded,” Paigion said.

Students attended in formal attire but not in formal spirit as award presenters were greeted with cheers and fraternities shouted their chants with gusto and pride.

The Image Awards carry on the memory of LaMira King, a Ferris alumna who started the event in the early 90s as a student herself. King returned to the university later on in her career as Project Director for the Office of Multicultural Student Services, working to foster high achievement in Ferris students until her untimely death in 2007. Ms. King was honored at the ceremony with a commemorative video.

BLACK has organized the event since 1996. Andre Keys, a Secondary Education Major at Ferris state, selected and worked directly with Paigion as BLACK prepared for the event.