Comedian emcees year-end Dixie Awards, public welcome

ST. GEORGE — Dixie State University will celebrate the best of the very best from this past academic year all while enjoying laughs by British comedian Chris James at the 2015 Dixie Awards Ceremony on Thursday, at 7 p.m., in the Dolores Doré Eccles Fine Arts Center Mainstage Theater.

The Dixie Awards ceremony is a great way to culminate a successful year at Dixie State,” Dean of Students Del Beatty said. “It’s always refreshing to see the accomplishments of so many outstanding undergraduates as they are recognized as ‘Students of the Year’ in a number of different categories.”

James will emcee the awards. He has performed at all the major comedy clubs in California, including the world famous Comedy Store and The Laugh Factory.

Along with his stand-up routines, James is known for his ability to portray a diverse range of characters with ease and confidence alongside his witty style of storytelling. More recently, he played a guest starring role on VH1 hit show “Single Ladies,” as well as performing clean yet hilarious comedy at many college and corporate shows.

The event is free to all. Prior to the ceremony, DSU will host a free reception from 6-6:45 p.m., in the Eccles Fine Arts Center lobby for all the nominees and their families.

Year-end awards

The annual year-end awards program recognizes DSU students, faculty and staff who have excelled in various areas of achievement throughout the academic year. The Dixie Awards, formerly known as the Rebel Awards, have been a tradition at the Dixie State since the 1960s.

The ceremony will feature a style typical of a Hollywood-type awards presentation, featuring five finalists in nearly 30 award categories, ranging from academic excellence, campus spirit and service to the campus and community.

In what has become tradition, the ceremony takes place the night before Dixie State’s Commencement Ceremonies in an effort to involve family and friends of the award nominees in an effort to establish a new legacy for the annual event.

2015 DSU Distinguished Citizen Award winner Stan Plewe, location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Dixie State University, St. George News
2015 DSU Distinguished Citizen Award winner Stan Plewe, location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Dixie State University, St. George News

Distinguished Citizen awards

In addition to the regular Dixie Award presentations, Dixie State will honor two community members with Distinguished Citizen Awards. This year marks the first time that DSU will be presenting Distinguished Citizen awards during the Dixie Awards Ceremony. In past years, those awards were handed out during DSU’s Commencement Ceremonies.

This year’s Distinguished Citizen Award recipients are retired DSU Vice President Stan Plewe and Pastor Jimi Kestin of Solomon’s Porch Foursquare Fellowship Church in St. George.

Plewe retired from DSU in 2012 after nearly 35 years of service to the institution. While working under six presidents, he served as a director, dean and vice president of administrative services. Plewe was involved with community education, information technology, facility planning and construction, auxiliary services, financial services and university preparations, including the planning and construction of DSU’s Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons, which was completed in 2012.

Plewe also volunteers his time as a photographer for DSU Athletics, which presented him with the 2010 Distinguished Service Award for his efforts. He and his wife, Barbara, along with all of their seven children, have attended, taught, or worked at Dixie State.

2015 DSU Distinguished Citizen Award winner Jimi Kestin, location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Dixie State University, St. George News
2015 DSU Distinguished Citizen Award winner Jimi Kestin, location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Dixie State University, St. George News

Kestin, a native of southern Wisconsin, moved out west and spent most of his adult life in Las Vegas, where he met and married his wife of 27 years, Rickine. The family relocated to St. George 10 years ago to pioneer a church plant for the Foursquare Movement and Solomon’s Porch was born.

In addition to his clergy duties, Kestin serves as assistant vice president of community relations and marketing for State Bank of Southern Utah. He is also the president of the Interfaith Council of St George, the chair-elect for the St. George Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and serves on the boards for both the St. George Exchange Club and Habitat for Humanity of Southwest Utah.

Graduates, swearing-ins

The ceremony will also feature the formal introductions of the 2015 baccalaureate valedictorians and associate degree high honors graduates.

In addition, the student association officers for the upcoming academic year will be introduced and sworn in.

Matt Devore, a junior integrated studies major from Mesquite, Nevada, will take the oath to become the new student body president, while Warren Anderson, a senior accounting major from Santa Clara, will serve as vice president of academics, and Tim Long, a junior business administration major from Hurricane, will serve as vice president of student clubs and organizations.

Event details

  • What: Dixie Awards
  • When: Thursday, May 7, at 7 p.m., reception 6-6:45
  • Where:  Dolores Dore’ Eccles Fine Arts Center Mainstage Theater, 225 S. 700 East, St. George
  • Tickets: Free
  • Dixie Awards website

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