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The Honored Alumni Award is the highest honor bestowed upon Cal Poly alumni by the University’s Alumni Association. The award was established more than 31 years ago by the Association to provide recognition for outstanding graduates and former students of Cal Poly.
One Honored Alumni Award recipient is chosen every year alumni from the University’s seven academic colleges: Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences; Architecture and Environmental Design; Education; Engineering; Liberal Arts; Orfalea College of Business; and Science and Mathematics.
The Cal Poly Alumni Association presents the Distinguished Service Award annually to an alumnus or alumna who has demonstrated exceptional service to Cal Poly and the Alumni Association.
Awardees are honored each year during Homecoming at the Grand Reunion and Honored Alumni Banquet.
Wendy Ornelas, FAIA, is the college’s 2016 Honored Alumnus. Ornelas graduated with a bachelor’s degree in architecture in 1980. She is a licensed architect in California and Kansas and is a professor at Kansas State University. Elevated to the American Institute of Architects’ College of Fellows in 2005, Ornelas is the first and only female and first and only Latina fellow in the state of Kansas. Ornelas is the recipient of numerous awards, including Distinguished Professor of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. She is a member of the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), serving as president in 2009-10, and is the faculty advisor for AP Design’s Women in Design chapter. She served as the central states regional director for American Institute of Architects (AIA); as co-chair of AIA National’s Diversity and Inclusion Council; as the board liaison to the Young Architects Forum; as academic advisor for Central States Region’s Emerging Professionals Committee. She served two terms on the Kansas State Board of Technical Professions, and in 2015 received the AIA Richard Upjohn Fellowship.
"One of the things that I believe is strong about Cal Poly is the notion that all the disciplines are together and we learn from each other...Cal Poly gave us a sense of community," - Wendy Ornelas.
"She is influencing architectural practice by being an advocate for inclusivity," - Dean Christine Theodoropolous.
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2015 Scott F. Gaudineer2014 Ted A. Hyman2013 Paul H. Hamalian2012 Jack A. Berridge2011 David J. Gilmore2010 James E. Grant2009 Wally B. Gordon2008 Rebekah G. Gladson2007 Mark B. Haselton2006 Brent Dickens2005 Ken Stone2004 Mark Montoya2003 Peter Berg2002 Milford Wayne Donaldson2001 Emanuele Barelli2000 Robin L. Rossi1999 Eugene E. Cole1998 Gerald G. Green1997 Kenneth A. Rodriguez1996 Donald W. Dreusike1995 Thomas A. Sabol1994 Ernesto M. Vasquez
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