From opening the new Wine Spectator Learning Center to graduating our largest class yet, 2018 has been an eventful year for the SSU community. It was tough to pick just 10 stories to highlight out of the many memorable moments, but here are Sonoma State University's top 10 stories of 2018.
Fire recovery efforts
Sonoma State University continued to serve as a center for community healing in the aftermath of the 2017 North Bay fires that devastated our neighbors and community. As a way to inspire hope and raise money to help first-responders who lost their homes, the campus hosted a two-day event that involved music and the sharing of individual and communal stories. The Thicker than Smoke event hosted by actress Bonnie Hunt and country superstar Brad Paisley helped raise nearly $190,000. To mark the anniversary of the fires in October, the University library also hosted the ‘After the Fire’ art exhibit featuring the work of 21 individuals whose lives were touched by the firestorm in some way. The exhibit included artifacts recovered from the ruins of SSU President Judy Sakaki’s home as well.
'Peanuts' character Lucy statue unveiled at SSU – March 6, 2018
“Peanuts” cartoon strip’s Lucy van Pelt joined the Sonoma State University family this year with the unveiling of a 5-foot, 500-pound statue of the sometimes crabby but always loveable character.
Sonoma State University to guarantee housing – April 17, 2018
For the first time in campus history, Sonoma State guaranteed first-time freshmen on-campus housing for the 2018-19 school year.
SSU student newspaper claims top national award – May 5, 2018
Just days after winning the top award for college newspapers from the California Newspaper Publishers Association, the staff of the Sonoma State Star, the student-run newspaper at Sonoma State, learned that it won two other prestigious awards. The Star was named by the American Scholastic Press Association as one of the “Most Outstanding College Newspapers for 2017-2018.” The newspaper also won a “First Place Award with Merit” from ASPA.
SSU launches Strategic Plan – May 9, 2018
In 2017-18, SSU engaged in a comprehensive process to share, shape and unite around a strategic plan, one that will set the direction for the university for years to come. The plan places a campuswide emphasis on student success, academic excellence and innovation, andl leadership cultivation, all with the goal of helping SSU make a transformative impact on the lives of students and others.
Sonoma State celebrates largest graduating class – May 18, 2018
Sonoma State celebrated its largest class of graduates in 57 years last May. In all, the Class of 2018 came from 20 different states, from Hawaii to Florida and New York. The class included residents of six different countries including England, Spain, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and Sri Lanka. Moreover, the class represented many different nationalities, backgrounds and academic interests.
SSU unveils Wine Spectator Learning Center – May 29, 2019
With nearly 700 students, alumni, faculty and leaders of the North Coast wine industry in attendance, Sonoma State University celebrated the grand opening of the Wine Spectator Learning Center on campus on May 29. The $11 million, 15,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility serves as the new headquarters for the University's Wine Business Institute and is designed to be an industry hub for the next generation of global wine industry leaders.
SSU to buy 90-unit complex for workforce housing – Nov. 1, 2018
Sonoma State received unanimous approval from the California State University Board of Trustees to purchase a 90-unit apartment complex in Petaluma to be used for faculty and staff housing. The project is a multifamily, four- and five-story complex nearing completion by Basin Street Properties on a 2.17-acre parcel adjacent to the Petaluma Marina.
President Sakaki named ‘President of the Year’ for 2018 – Nov. 10, 2018
Each year, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) recognizes the outstanding contributions of individuals and institutions who are transforming higher education. This year, SSU President Judy K. Sakaki was awarded the NASPA Region VI President of the Year Award, which is given to a college or university President or Chancellor who has, over a sustained period of time, advanced the quality of student life on their campus by supporting student affairs staff and initiatives.
University Art Gallery celebrates 40th anniversary – Dec. 3, 2018
Since its inception in 1978, Sonoma State University’s Art Gallery has promoted the understanding and appreciation of modern and contemporary visual art from around the world. Now, 40 years and more than 200 exhibitions later, the University Art Gallery is celebrating its four decade history.