Gathered in the Williams Auditorium dressed to the nines, students and RSOs eagerly awaited the glitz and glamour of the Torchbearer Awards, and its return to the in-person world.
13 awards were given out to over 50 students and advisors, including ten winners of the Torchbearer Award and RSO Gold member of the year. The event had an Old Hollywood theme, and it saw performances from the Ferris’ dance team and Madison MacDowell and Rob Malaski.
The event, hosted Thursday, April 21, was put together by Katie Bittner, Paige Abromaitis and Laurie Prentler as part of the Event Management II course. This ceremony was a culmination of a semester’s worth of work between the three students and the university.
Senior Paige Abromaitis was not only one of the main people who put the ceremony together, but she also was one of the winners of the prestigious Torchbearer award. This award was given to 10 students. The students represented were leaders either in the classroom or on campus in the past year.
Abromaitis was given the award for her various roles in the Ferris community this year, which saw her serve as student body president for the 2021-2022 school year, vice president for the hospitality management student association, member of the Student Alumni Gold Club, a student representative on the Academic Senate, a student representative on the Strategic Planning and Resource Council, student representative on President David Eisler’s Leadership Council Advisory Committee and a student member on the Presidential Search Committee.
“It was an honor,” Abromaitis said. “It made me realize all my hours of leadership as student body president, all my hours as vice president of our Hospitality Management Student Association and then, on top of representing clubs, being a student representative on senate councils and on the Search Advisory Committee for our new president. It just kind of made me realize, like, it was all worth it, all the stress and all the extra hours each week were worth it.
Senior Katie Bittner is also a part of the American Marketing Association, serving as their vice president of community service. Additionally, the AMA was the sole Gold RSO for the upcoming academic year, beating out seven nominees to get the award. Being named Gold RSO meant that AMA was considered to be the top RSO of the year.
“I think it was very, very deserving. Our team was kind of short this year… so obviously we had some obstacles… All the board members worked very hard, and we got new members, and they’re also all amazing,” Bittner said.
As the ceremony came to a close, a video tribute was played for President David Eisler, who was in attendance on the evening. This video, created in collaboration with the TDMP program, thanked Eisler for his years of hard work and dedication to the university. Eisler then came up on stage to first thank the organizers and then present the winners of the Torchbearer awards.
As organizers, Bittner, Abromaitis and Prentler put the script together, created decorations, set up the catering, found entertainment for the evening, created the slideshow and booked the auditorum for the event.
Bittner described how the trio split up the work.
“We all had different talents. [Prentler] kind of was very disciplined and told us what days to meet. She kind of made the plans for our meetings with Angela [Roman]. [Abromaitis] got very creative with our PowerPoint and was really good at communicating by emailing people. I would say I was good at decorations as well as getting all the catering and ordering all the food.” Bittner said.
For a full list of awards and winners, see the graphic below.