Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Capstone Hero program accepting applications

Everyone may nominate an outstanding student, faculty, staff member or student organization that they believe deserves the honor of Capstone Hero.

In March, the University will celebrate the sixth annual celebration of the Capstone Creed. The Capstone Hero awards began in 2007 as a way to honor individuals and organizations whose contributions to life at the Capstone personify the values found in the Creed. The Office of Student Involvement and Leadership is accepting nominations now until March 7.

Joshua Burford, coordinator of student development programming, said the nomination process is very open in that anybody can nominate anyone.

“The criteria is more open and gives a chance to nominate people who are quiet and behind the scenes,” Burford said.

Burford said everybody has the potential to be a Capstone Hero and there are no restrictions for what makes a Capstone Hero.

The Office of Student Involvement looks for those who have gone above and beyond the everyday experience on campus. Past recipients have included the UA Honors College mentoring program and two WVUA staff members who performed CPR.

Alan Blinder, a senior majoring in political science and journalism, received a Capstone Hero award last year. He was recognized for his work with pediatric stroke advocacy, awareness and research, as well as his work as a reporter who covered critical and controversial topics. Blinder said he had worked with a number of Capstone Heroes before and admired them.

“Frankly, I would have been honored by a nomination alone,” Blinder said. “I didn’t see myself as a comparably worthy recipient, and when I think back to some of the people I shared the stage with last March and consider how I match up with them, I have the same thought.”

Another 2010 Capstone Hero, Andres Peña, a senior majoring in management and political science, was nominated for his participation with the American Cancer Society and UA Women’s Resource Center. He was nominated by 2009 Capstone Hero Ian Sams. Peña said receiving the award was a huge honor because the award recognizes other individuals and groups whose actions embody the Capstone Creed’s ideals.

“At the award ceremony, it was amazing to be a part of a group of people who work tirelessly and passionately for various causes,” Peña said.

Burford emphasizes that the Capstone Hero awards are special in that they recognize people who aren’t always in the spotlight.

“We can honor people who aren’t always in the newspaper but still have been a really integral part to our campus,” Burford said. “We honor those who make a difference, even if it’s just one person.”

Alex Karagas, coordinator of Student Involvement and Leadership, said that the awards are a culmination of a week celebrating the Capstone Creed.

“We want all of campus to look at two aspects of the creed,” Karagas said. “Respect and community.”

The Capstone Creed celebration will start on March 28 and go through April 1. The Heroes award ceremony will be held on March 31, and nominees will be notified the week prior and the winners will be announced on the 31st. Nomination forms can be found at and must be turned in to the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership or e-mailed to Burford at [email protected] by 4 p.m. on March 7.

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