Selfless students

Tim Costello

Students who have gone out of their way to make an impact on their communities are being recognized by Weber State University with the Ivory Prize for Excellence in Student Leadership and Community Engagement.

Previous award recipient and current WSU student Finau Tauteoli was congratulated for her work contributing to the success of all students, especially Pacific Islander Students. (Weber State University)
Previous award recipient and current WSU student Finau Tauteoli was congratulated for her work contributing to the success of all students, especially Pacific Islander Students. Photo credit: Weber State University

Both students and alumni are eligible for the award for actions that helped their peers and students succeed or for changes they helped make in their communities.

The award is relatively new, having only been around for two years, and is distributed by the Clark and Christine Ivory Foundation. The Ivorys built their foundation from the ground up in 2003, and the award is their way of “paying it forward to students and individuals who are doing the same,” as stated on the foundation’s website. The Ivorys selected WSU to help them distribute the award and build it throughout communities.

The Ivory Prize celebrates and encourages Weber State University students who go above and beyond to positively impact those around them. (Weber State University)
The Ivory Prize celebrates and encourages Weber State University students who go above and beyond to positively impact those around them. Photo credit: Weber State University

“It’s an award for those who’ve gone above and beyond with the students and their involvement with the community,” Brianna Olsen, the Center for Community Engaged Learning admin assistant, said. “It’s helped a few different programs, and we’re hoping to continue to build it and grow it into something that will be really impactful for years to come.”

There is curiosity around what the foundation and CCEL are looking for in individuals to receive the award.

“Anyone who has gone above and beyond…in partnering with the community and beyond what any student or recent graduate would do,” Olsen said.

Anyone can be nominated to receive this award. Olsen, along with a panel consisting of faculty and community partners, choose who will win this award. In addition to winning a cash prize of $2,000, nominees and the winner are in line to receive a $10,000 donation to the cause, initiative and team that they are in charge of.

“The best part for me is to see all the nominations come in and [say,] ‘Wow. Look at all these amazing things that people are doing,’” Olsen said. “They are not just going to school. They’re really getting out there and trying to make a difference in the world. It’s really awesome to see that come across my desk. I can actually see the difference that they’re making.”

Lori Cummings previously received the award for her work in aiding fellow students to volunteer and for her impact on the lives of numerous children with developmental disabilities and their parents. (Weber State University)
Lori Cummings previously received the award for her work in aiding fellow students to volunteer and for her impact on the lives of numerous children with developmental disabilities and their parents. Photo credit: Weber State University