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Honoring Tom Suda

The Tom Suda Memorial Travel Award will allow us to honor Tom's passion for the performing arts and share it with current OU students. It is our desire to award this through the 2018-19 academic year, which would encompass any students who may have had Tom as a professor. Awardees will experience first-hand the magic of the stage with a trip to Broadway in NYC. This remarkable opportunity to see performances by masters in their field will allow students to learn, grow and research their craft at its epicenter.


Thomas M. Suda, age 63, of Rochester, passed away on June 13, 2016.

Tom was born in Detroit, Michigan and graduated from Royal Oak Dondero High School, where his love for theater began. He attended Wayne State University, where he received his BFA and MFA. Tom was a Special Instructor of Theatre at Oakland University, Department of Music, Theatre and Dance. Tom so loved and inspired his students.

As a previous student of Tom's put it, “as a theatre major in college, you build close ties with your professors and other students. Even though we move on in life, those connections still exist, so when one breaks, we all feel it. The world lost a shining star, a truly beautiful soul, our Thomas M. Suda. It's amazing to see just how many lives he touched so profoundly in his many years as a theatre professor at Oakland University. Tom, you will be truly missed.”

PS - Employees, your AUFD gift will still be matched if you make it here!

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Thanks To Our Supporters!

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Your support gives Music, Theatre and Dance students the opportunity to enhance their study of the performing arts through observational research by traveling to Broadway.

Donations are applied to...

Round trip airfare, room, board and admittance to performances on Broadway where students can experience performing arts first-hand and expand their knowledge of their chosen field.

The 2016-17 recipient of the Tom Suda Memorial Travel Award was Andrew Barikmo. He will be traveling to NYC later this year. As Andrew stated, "every actor’s dream is to be able to experience the magic of NYC! Unfortunately this dream isn’t possible for everyone. As a graduating senior I am so blessed to have been given this opportunity to go to NYC and experience Broadway for the very first time before taking the plunge and moving to the Big Apple after graduation. Tom Suda was such an inspiration to me and a great mentor, and I am so honored and thankful to have been given a travel award in his memory and honor.”

Why are donations necessary?

Students in performing arts benefit from experiencing high-quality productions first-hand. However, the costs associated with a trip to experience and observe these productions can be prohibitive. Students who otherwise might never have the chance to see masters in their field perform will be able to use the Tom Suda Memorial Travel Award for a remarkable experience.