Sonoma State University grew tremendously in 2015--literally, in that the school welcomed its largest student body to date, but also academically, thanks in part to a rebounding economy and an infusion of new professors. It was tough to pick just 10 stories to highlight out of the many memorable moments of 2015, but check out www.sonoma.edu/newscenter to see the rest of the year that was at SSU. Without further ado, here are Sonoma State University's top 10 stories of 2015.
10. Turtle Power
Nearly 50 threatened western pond turtles were released into San Francisco's Mountain Lake. About 100 people came out to see the turtles released into their new, native habitat after being hatched and raised in SSU's Turtle Head Start program at the San Francisco Zoo and Oakland Zoo.
9. New Teachers
Twenty new tenure-track faculty were introduced for the 2015-16 year. Professors will offer classes in the schools of Arts and Humanities, Business and Economics, Education, Science and Technology, and Social Sciences.
8. Making More than Grades
Ever wanted to purchase something made by a Seawolf? Now you can at the Made By Seawolves student store, where students sell their handmade clothes, jewelry, art and more. After a successful soft opening this semester, the retail space in the Student Center will have a grand opening next year.
7. Healing the World
After starting three years ago with just 38 students, the Nursing Transition into Practice certificate program saw 109 medical professionals graduate with guaranteed North Bay jobs.
6. Most. Students. Ever.
Sonoma State welcomes over 9,400 students for 2015-2016, the largest student body in the school's 54-year history.
5. Moving Music
The $165 million Green Music Center opened in 2012 to critical acclaim, and this year the Sonoma State University Symphony Orchestra gave its inaugural performance in Weill Hall.
4. More Wine!
The Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State boosted its total donation amount to $7 million this year thanks to donations from Hamel Family Wines, Bouchaine Vineyards, Alpha Omega Winery, Pierce Education Properties, Rubin Family Wines and others. Thanks to incredible financial and community support, the Institute is on track to open in the former Commons building on campus in 2017.
3. Academic Athletes
The women's volleyball set some amazing records in their CCAA Championship run, but all student-athletes deserve a pat on the back this year. SSU's student-athletes recorded the highest grade point average in school history in 2014-2015, combining for a 3.037 GPA. More than 40 percent of the 290 student-athletes had a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
2. No Butts About It
Sonoma State became the second campus in the California State University to go smoke free on July 1. Reaction to the news from students, staff and alumni was overwhelmingly positive.
1. Adios, Presidente
After 24 years as president of SSU, Ruben Armiñana announced his retirement at convocation this year. A new president will be announced in January and take the reins at Sonoma State July 1.