Emily Berry
Staff reporter

Masterbuilder voting was released via email April 25. There are 27 nominees, out of these 27 nominees only six will be awarded Masterbuilder.

Anjaih Clemons, director of campus life, said, “By choosing six students, you’re able to select or recognize a diverse group of students from various areas of the college.”

This is the first time for quite a few students to hear about Masterbuilder. So what is it, who can be nominated for Masterbuilder, and how does the voting process work? Clemons said, “The Masterbuilder award is given to six graduating seniors who best embody what it means to be a builder and exemplify the spirit of Southwestern College.”

This award has been given to six seniors since it started in 1934.

“I’m unsure of why the number is limited to six. That’s how it was originally designed in 1934. So you could say it’s part of our tradition. I would also like to believe that by choosing six students, you’re able to select or recognize a diverse group of students from various areas of the college. It’s an honor that’s not necessarily academic based, but speaks to the character of an individual. What truly matters are the character of the student and how that person’s contribution during their time at SC, positively impacted their peers, professors, and the campus community as a whole,” said Clemons.

Those that were nominated were informed of the nomination when voting opened. Meghan Kindred, psychology senior, said, “I found out that I had been nominated for MasterBuilder on Friday morning, when Anjaih sent out the link for nominations. My friend in SGA had mentioned that they voted awhile back, but I didn’t hear anything until last Friday.”

Not all seniors are automatically nominees, but they are potential nominees as there is a process to determine the official nominees.

Clemons said, “The registrar prepares a list of graduating seniors who are enrolled in campus-based programs, excluding persons who have previously been elected Masterbuilder. Each Student Government Association member nominates six seniors from the list. Any senior receiving a nomination is included on a list submitted to the faculty. Each faculty member votes for six seniors from this list. Any senior receiving one or more votes from the faculty is included on a list submitted to the student body. In an election conducted by the Student Government Association, each student may then vote for six seniors. The six graduating seniors receiving the highest number of votes are named Masterbuilders.”

Kindred, like many people up for an award is honored to be nominated. “It is such an honor to be nominated. I really did not think that I would ever be nominated since the award typically goes to student-athletes, and I am no longer on the tennis team. I feel proud to be recognized by my classmates and faculty, and it makes me happy that those who excel in the classroom or in the creative arts were also named among the athletes who excel in their sports. It is a great feeling to be named among others who I have looked up to or learned from throughout my time at Southwestern College.”

The six students that are selected as the 2020 Masterbuilders are normally announced during the spring honors convocation, but due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19, honors convocation has been cancelled. The Masterbuilder winners will be announced May 4 and each nominee will be notified if they were chosen.

Students are able to vote until May 1.

To see the list of nominees and vote, click here now.

Emily Berry reported on this story from her home in Cimarron, Kansas.