The 2021 edition of the Stallion Awards will be remembered as a night of glamour, style, and artistic performances. In what can be regarded as the most anticipated event in the Spring 2021 social calendar, the Student Affairs department organized the awards ceremony to honor outstanding students and clubs.
The awards recognize students who have modelled excellent leadership skills and have inspired other students to achieve their individual and collective goals. They also spotlight student leaders who have excelled in athletics, community service, innovation, and promoting a healthier residence life experience.
Ladies turned out in stylish evening gowns while the gentlemen mainly were garbed in black tie or traditional attires.
The Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Student Affairs, Byron Bullock, emphasized the significance of the awards: "It is important that students are recognized for what they do. This inspires them to strive to do better in the various aspects of student life."
The 10th Stallion Awards, held on June 12, 2021, were hosted by Dr. Nasiru Yakubu, Coordinator, Accreditation, Academic Planning & Quality Assurance, and Ms. Nguwasen Begha, Resident Director, Rosario Volpi. The Community Hall at a north campus came alive with bright lights and dazzling décor.
Guests were treated to feature performances by the AUN Dance Troupe, Asher, and many more.
The turnout at this year's celebrations reflected the yearning of a campus community starved of community events. Winners received a crystal glass-plated statuette. The design for the award statuette, a crystal horse head on a glass base, is credited to Dean Byron Bullock.
Winners were chosen for 16 categories: The Stallion Foal Award, the Stallion Nefteos Award, the Stallion Tritoes Award, the Stallion Tetarti Award, the Stallion Evolving Leader Award, and the Stallion Service Award. Others are the Stallion Male Athlete of the Year Award, the Stallion Female Athlete of the Year Award, the Stallion Outstanding Undergraduate Tutor Award, the Stallion Character Award, the Stallion Leader of the Year Award, the Stallion Outstanding International Student Award, and the Stallion Talent Award.
In addition, there were also the Stallion Collaborative Program Award, the Stallion Best New Student Organization Award, the Stallion Residence Hall Community Service, while 14 other awards were from the DSA's list.
"We have incredible students who should be recognized for the contributions they make during their academic year for various reasons. This is the reason for the different categories,” Dean Bullock explained.
The high point of the ceremony was when the DSA Merit Award was presented to Hauwa Hamidu, Amira Hamid, and Aisha Mai, students of the School of Law, for their entry in the Hult Prize competition, which in 2019 won the regional prize in Abuja.
"We are so happy to be recognized for this award today; it was a journey of three years, and we made it to the finals. That in itself is an achievement", said Hauwa.
A sophomore Software Engineering student, Chuka Utazi Obumneme received the award for the best male athlete of the year and the Stallion Neftoes Award.
"I am happy and grateful for these awards. It is an encouragement that what you do doesn't go unnoticed", he said.
The awards took a dramatic turn when Dean Byron was himself surprised with an award for exceptional leadership.
To be eligible for an award, a nominee must meet specific criteria, which include: active participation in a recognized student or academic organization or athletic/club team, service to the AUN community, quality of involvement (impact on campus), the scope of involvement (variety), level of involvement (responsibilities and duties), demonstrated leadership ability, demonstrated personal growth, future commitment and potential for future achievement.
Members of the AUN Community, including students and Student Affairs staff, may nominate and vote for candidates.
"Applications are sent out in March. After the registration and nominations, the applications are reviewed by a committee made up of staff from the Student Life unit who make the final decisions", according to Caleb Simon, a budget officer in the Student Affairs Department.
"The DSA awards, however, is an award directly from the Dean of Student Affairs".
Aside from bestowing recognition and prestige, the Stallion Awards further boost the confidence in students and motivate them to more outstanding achievements.
This was better stated by Ahmed Alhaji Aliyu, a member of the staff with the Community Service Office when he received the DSA's outstanding staff of the year award.
"It feels great knowing that the work you do doesn't go unnoticed. It is a great joy and privilege to be awarded for something you are passionate about."
Reported by Bitwul Dashe