Honored Alumni

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.

2016 Honoree: Wendy Ornelas, FAIA


Image of Scott F. GaudineerWendy 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.

Watch the video here​.

Past Honored Alumni

2015 Scott F. Gaudineer
2014 Ted A. Hyman
2013 Paul H. Hamalian
2012  Jack A. Berridge
2011  David J. Gilmore
2010  James E. Grant
2009  Wally B. Gordon
2008  Rebekah G. Gladson
2007  Mark B. Haselton
2006  Brent Dickens
2005  Ken Stone
2004  Mark Montoya
2003  Peter Berg
2002  Milford Wayne Donaldson
2001  Emanuele Barelli
2000  Robin L. Rossi
1999  Eugene E. Cole
1998  Gerald G. Green
1997  Kenneth A. Rodriguez
1996  Donald W. Dreusike
1995  Thomas A. Sabol
1994  Ernesto M. Vasquez


1993  Dean M. Gelvin
1992  Jacque L. Keller
1991  Doug H. Austin
1990  Paul C. Crawford
1989  Christopher J. Smith
1988  M. John Vickerman, Jr.
1987  C. Nicholas Watry, III
1986  Michael A. Theilacker
1984  Deborah A. Weldon
1983  Ray Takata
1982  David A. Wright
1981  Lawrence L. Simons
1980  James R. McGranahan
1979  Ingeborg Rose
1978  Paul Neel
1977  Donald Bensen
1976  George Ikenoyama
1975  Roger Honberger
1974  Bernard Adams
1973  Joel Rottman
1972  Homer Delawie
1971  William Richardson
1970  James Luckman
1969  Benito Sinclai


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