Louis Sudler Prize
Before his death, Louis Sudler, a Chicago industrialist to whom the arts had been a major source of life satisfaction, endowed an annual prize in the arts at fourteen major universities: Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Dartmouth, Columbia, Johns Hopkins, MIT, University of Chicago, Michigan State, Oberlin College, Purdue University, Duke, Rice, and Stanford.
At each institution, an annual prize in the creative and performing arts is awarded to the graduating senior who has demonstrated the most distinguished record of excellence in performance or creation in one of the following areas: music, theater, painting, dance, design, film, creative writing, and other areas of the arts (as determined by each institution).
At Duke, the award is made by the Vice Provost for the Arts.
Each year the Office of Vice Provost for the Arts awards a cash prize of $2,000 to the graduating senior selected as the outstanding student in the creative and performing arts. Students do not apply directly for the award but rather are nominated by arts department chairs, who are invited to forward one nomination each.
- Applications are assembled and submitted by Duke arts departments.
- The centerpiece of the application is a letter of nomination from the head of the unit, which should be comprehensive and persuasive.
- At least one (more if appropriate) additional letter of recommendation from faculty members or others in the university community who can speak to the candidate’s qualifications and accomplishments.
- A copy of the student’s most recent transcript.
- A résumé listing the student’s activities in the arts at Duke, and any special projects or achievements off campus. The student should prepare this.
- Samples of the student’s creative/performing work in whatever form is appropriate (tapes, portfolios, reviews, published writing, scripts, etc.). Original materials will be returned.
Any electronic samples should be submitted in one of the following formats:
- image: jpeg or pdf
- text: ms word, rtf, or pdf
- audio: mp3, acc, or ogg
- video: quicktime (mov) or mpeg (mp4 or m4v)
Samples of the student’s work and any materials that cannot be provided electronically can be delivered to the Vice Provost for the Arts, Smith Warehouse, Bay 8, Room B104. Students will be notified regarding the procedure for retrieving their work.
The nomination packet should be sent electronically to Vice Provost for the Arts John Brown by 5pm on Wednesday, April 19th, 2023.
(We cannot be responsible for any non-electronic materials of value that are submitted with the nomination.) Direct all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 1983: Shayne Doty — Music (organ performance)
- 1984: Susan Dobbins — Studio Art
- 1985: Virginia Webb — Dance performance
- 1986: Scott McRae — Drama (playwriting)
- 1987: Carol Fitzgerald — Creative Writing
- 1988: Hayle Brinkman — Studio Art
- 1989: Raymond Loewy — Music (performance and composition)
- 1990: Trevor Anthony — Drama (acting)
- 1991: Jonathan Hexner — Studio Art
- 1992: Carol Mathis — Film and Video
- 1993: Kimberly Haynes — Music (vocal performance)
- 1994: Rob Milazzo — Drama (directing)
- 1995: Susan B.A. Somers‑Willett — Institute of the Arts (multidisciplinary)
- 1996: Amanda Exley — Dance (performance, choreography)
- 1997: Heather Seybolt — Film and Video (multidisciplinary)
- 1998: Derek Kwan — Music (performance)
- 1999: Adam Saunders — Drama (acting, playwriting)
- 2000: Chris Dyer — Music (performance)
- 2001: Kristin Posehn — Visual Art
- 2002: Orlee Gober — Dance (performance, choreography)
- 2003: Erik Ryan Simpson — Music (performance, composition)
- 2004: Jesse Belsky — Theater/Dance (lighting design)
- 2005: Amit Mahtaney — Theater (acting, directing)
- 2006: Rahul Satija — Music (performance)
- 2007: William Kennedy — Creative Writing
- 2007: Martin Zimmerman — Theater Studies
- 2008: Adam Eaglin — Creative Writing/English
- 2009: Audrey Fenske — Dance
- 2009: Gretchen Taylor Wright — Theater Studies
- 2010: Danya Taymor — Theater Studies
- 2011: Sarah Goetz — Arts of the Moving Image Program / Art, Art History and Visual Studies
- 2012: Monica Hogan — Dance
- 2012: Ali Yalgin — Theater Studies (playwriting)
- 2013: Sarah Van Name — Literature
- 2014: Wenjia Xu — Music
- 2015: Lauren Rose Henschel — Art, Art History and Visual Studies
- 2016: Kari Barclay — Theater Studies
- 2017: Danielle Mayes — Center for Documentary Studies
- 2018: Jeainny Kim — Center for Documentary Studies
- 2019: Evan Morgan — Arts of the Moving Image
- 2020: Thandolwethu Mamba — Music
- 2021: No award
- 2022: Bryan Tong — Music
Hard work, love of music, and generous mentors have taken Thandolwethu Mamba from a township in southern Africa to the opera stage at Duke and beyond.
Evan Morgan created a multimedia installation that attempts to “visually transcribe” the banjo, an instrument with African roots that is a mainstay of old time and bluegrass music.
Described by CDS director Wesley Hogan as among “the most daring, experimental, and original documentarians we have had come through our undergraduate education curriculum in years," Jeanny Kim created extraordinary photographs and installations during her time at Duke.