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Sonoma State University

Sonoma State University (SSU, Sonoma State, and Sonoma) is a public comprehensive university which is part of the 23-campus California State University (CSU) system. The main campus is located in Rohnert Park, California, United States approximately 10 miles (16�km) south of Santa Rosa and 50 miles (80�km) north of San Francisco.


1801 E Cotati Ave
Rohnert Park

Contact Information


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Additional Information

College Type
Religious Affiliation
Campus Housing
Navy Blue And Columbia Blue
Mid-Eastern (MEAC)

College History


Sonoma State College, was established by the California State Legislature in 1960 to be part of the California State College system, with significant involvement by faculty from San Francisco State University. Later, as with all California State Colleges, Sonoma become part of the California State University system. Classes offered by the university first opened to 250 students in June 1961 in leased buildings in Rohnert Park where the college offered its first four-year Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education. With the completion of its two main classroom halls, Stevenson Hall, named for politician Adlai Stevenson II and Darwin Hall, named for Charles Darwin, developer of the theory of Natural Selection, the college moved to its permanent campus of 215 acres (87 ha) in 1966 (expanded later) where the first graduating class received their degrees Early development As enrollment increased, the school built more on-campus facilities including Ives Hall for performing arts, The University Commons for dining, a small library, and a gymnasium. These buildings followed the physical master plan of the school which stated that the facilities would be urban in character, defining the use of smooth concrete building fa�ades with landscaped courtyards. Among the landscaping features added with these facilities were the "Campus Lakes", two small reservoirs located behind the Commons next to Commencement Lawn, the site of the university's annual commencement ceremonies, and one lake near the housing facility, Beaujolais Village. The lakes are home to local waterfowl and have since become an important aesthetic feature of the campus. One of the lakes behind the Commons In 1969, the academic master plan underwent a major revision as the first master's degrees in biology and psychology were offered. The new cluster school concept, coupled with an even more heightened appreciation of the rural environment, influenced the new physical master plan. First to exemplify this new plan was the residence facility of 1972 named Zinfandel, a "village" of inviting stucco and redwood structures. The new Student Health Center used a primarily redwood fa�ade with a landscaped ground cover of wild roses and poppies. In 1975, Nichols Hall, was built as the newest classroom hall and named in honor of Sonoma's founding president Ambrose R. Nichols. Early development of the modern campus came to a close in 1976 when the Student Union was constructed between the main quad and the lakes. This building continued the use of the physical master plan, using primarily redwood and preceding the similarly built Carson Hall, art building, a childcare center, additional parking, and a computer center which was added onto the library.

College Specialty


The mission of Sonoma State University is to prepare students to be learned men and women who: have a foundation for life-long learning have a broad cultural perspective have a keen appreciation of intellectual and aesthetic achievements will be active citizens and leaders in society are capable of pursuing fulfilling careers in a changing world are concerned with contributing to the health and well-being of the world at large. To achieve its mission, Sonoma State University recognizes that its first obligation is to develop and maintain excellent programs of undergraduate instruction grounded in the liberal arts and sciences. Instructional programs are designed to challenge students not only to acquire knowledge but also to develop the skills of critical analysis, careful reasoning, creativity, and self-expression. Excellence in undergraduate education requires that students participate in a well-planned program which provides both a liberal education and opportunities for specific career preparation. Sonoma State University offers a wide range of traditional disciplines, as well as interdisciplinary programs, so that students are able to explore diverse modes of inquiry, the understanding gained within the various disciplines, and a global spectrum of ideas, institutions, values, and artistic expressions. The University offers selected professional and graduate programs leading to master's degrees, teaching credentials, and certificates in various career fields. These programs respond to regional and state needs within the academic, business, education, and professional communities. The quality of the educational experience at Sonoma State University depends upon close human and intellectual relationships among students and faculty to foster the open exchange of ideas. The University is committed to creating a learning community in which people from diverse backgrounds and cultures are valued for the breadth of their perspectives and are encouraged in their intellectual pursuits. Sonoma State University's special character within California higher education emerges from its relatively small size; and its commitment to effective teaching, high standards of scholarship, and ongoing professional development; and its policy of promoting diversity in the faculty, staff, and student populations. Sonoma State University also recognizes its obligation to serve as an educational and cultural resource for people in the surrounding communities. It offers courses, lectures, workshops, and programs which are open to the public. Special events in the arts, the sciences, and athletics contribute to the intellectual and cultural life of students and the community.



Larry Allen Former Dallas Cowboys offensive guard Played on now defunct football team. Carl Peterson Kansas City Chiefs Former president & general manager Coached on now defunct football team. Kevin Danaher Author and activist, co-founder of Global Exchange Mike Horner Film Actor BA Philosophy, 1980 Carole Migden Former California State Senator John L. Davidson San Diego Superior Court Judge Major: Political Science Dave Smeds Science fiction author & Nebula Award finalist Virginia Strom-Martin Former California State Assemblywoman Jean Schulz Philanthropist, wife of Charles M. Schulz, Peanuts comic creator Jason Robinson American jazz saxophonist, electronic musician, and composer. Jazz Studies and Philosophy Shiela Leslie Nevada State Assemblywoman Tendai Mukomberanwa Soapstone Sculptor Bachelor of Fine Arts William C. Davis Civil War historian Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts ('69) Mary E. Lyons, Ph.D President, University of San Diego Bachelor of Arts, English ('71) David V. Brewer Associate Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court Bachelor of Arts, Economics ('74) Sam Hernandez Arena Football League Hall of Famer offensive and defensive lineman Played on now defunct football team.



Suburban, 269 Acres (109�Ha) (Main Campus)