The following awards are presented immediately following the closing night performance of the annual Orchesis Dance Company concert.

The Sonia Sandoval Memorial Award Endowment 

This award was established in the spring of 1999 by Melissa Cook and Sean Lavery to honor Sonia Sandoval. Sonia was a member of the Orchesis Dance Company and a Dance Minor and Modern Languages major who passed away in November of 1998 in a tragic accident. The award is split into two endowments representing her two passions, one for Dance and one for Modern Languages. The purpose of the dance award is for Sonia's spirit to live on and for her passion in dance to be continued. 

To qualify for the dance award, the recipient must epitomize the passion, self-expression and artistry that characterized Sonia as a dance artist and as an individual. They must be an Orchesis Dance Company member, preferably a dance minor, and be enrolled at Cal Poly in good academic standing. To donate to this award, be sure and designate whether you wish it to go to Modern Languages or Dance.

The Tomczac-Carter Award Endowment

This award endowment originated in 1987 when Dave Tomzac and Amy Carter won first place in the American Collegiate Talent Show. Carter and Tomzac were sponsored by the Orchesis Dance Company with the agreement that if they should win, their prize money would be donated to create this perpetual fund for qualified dance students.

The Moon Ja Minn and Paul T. Suhr Dance/Music Award: Most Deserving Student Award 

This award was established by Cal Poly professor Dr. Moon Ja Minn Suhr and husband Paul Suhr in 1995. The purpose of the award is to honor outstanding students from both the Dance Program and the Music Department at Cal Poly.

The Founder's Award for Outstanding Choreography 

The Founder's Award for Outstanding Choreography was established by Orchesis Dance Company founder Dr. Moon Ja Minn Suhr in 1999. Its purpose is to honor a student who has demonstrated excellence in the process and completion of a choreographic work.

All donations are greatly appreciated 

Support the department — give online

If you prefer to provide a check, please print and fill out our giving form. If you would like your donation to go to the Theatre and Dance Department, please specify on the check's memo line.

Mail the form and check to:
The Cal Poly Foundation
1 Grand Ave
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407

To learn more about the needs of Cal Poly and how you can help, contact:

Moon-ja Yunouye-Petz
Senior Director of Development

Image Credit: Kamil Konrad
2018, 48th annual concert: "'80s Mix Tape"
Choreography by General McArthur Hambrick (guest artist)
Lighting Design by Clint Bryson (staff)
Dancers: 2017-18 Orchesis Dance Company members

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