"And the envelope, please."
In true awards ceremony fashion, the envelope carries the names of winners and runners-up in the annual Deseret News-KSL Sterling Scholar Awards program. And only a handful of officials knows all of the winners and runners-up.As the judges report their results in each category on the day of the judging, the names are never shared with others. The judges are sworn to secrecy, so only the few individuals who compile the results will know all of the winners.
These results are typed onto cards and sealed into envelopes. Hostesses for the show, usually winners from the previous year, hand the information to a prominent Utahn to make the presentation.
Last year's program featured Palmer DePaulis, mayor of Salt Lake City; Joseph Silverstein, music director, Utah Symphony; Margaret Smoot, director of public affairs and special proj-ects, KSL Radio and Television, and Clifton Jolley, Deseret News columnist.
To add to the suspense of the show, background information on the winners is taken from their portfolio and prepared into a "teaser." As the information is read by the announcer, the winner usually recognizes the biographical material and a smile begins to form on the face.
Others nearby glance in their direction as they, too, realize which of the 15 students in their category will be named the winner.
The runners-up, named first, walk to center stage and mount a small three-tier platform. The winner is then disclosed for the first time and walks to the center section and is flanked by the two runners-up.
At this time, the top scholars are handed their own envelopes containing scholarship information that may be used for the coming school year. All of the state's major colleges and universities offer some form of financial assistance.
Some financial assistance pertains only to the winner, some to winners and runners-up, and a few offer rewards to nominees from the school.