Professor Robert Coleman-Senghor died suddenly on April 9, 2011, while a current member of the Sonoma State University English department faculty. Coleman-Senghor touched numerous lives during his 38 years of service. He faithfully and energetically served SSU students at every level--from undergraduate to graduate and post-graduate.
Coleman-Senghor was well known as "a dedicated champion of the rights of students and faculty alike."* He was responsive to and passionate about supporting underrepresented and first generation university students. He especially identified with these students given his own history and background as the first in his family to attend and graduate from the university.
To this end, Professor Coleman-Senghor contributed generously and consistently to the African American Academic Association scholarship fund (formerly known as the Black Alumni Chapter Scholarship). In addition, he named the scholarship fund in his will, donating a large sum to sustain the fund into the future.
It is for these reasons, and "in the spirit of Professor Coleman-Senghor's unwavering efforts to improve universal access to higher education,"* that this scholarship is now dedicated to the namesake and memory of our beloved colleague, teacher and civic leader, Professor Robert Coleman-Senghor.
To further honor Coleman-Senghor, the committee coordinating the scholarship is fundraising to make it permanently endowed at SSU. "Our goal is to endow this scholarship and make it permanent at SSU," said Kim Hester-Williams, chair of the Robert Coleman-Senghor Scholarship Committee. "An endowed scholarship would allow for annual funds to award his scholarship forever. It represents a lasting and meaningful way to remember Bob's spirit, passion and dedication to students at SSU," she said.
Those who would like to make a gift in honor of Professor Coleman-Senghor to support endowing his scholarship should contact Laurie Ogg in University Development at (707) 664-2036, or send checks made out to Sonoma State University Academic Foundation (SSUAF) to:
Sonoma State University
c/o Robert Coleman-Senghor Scholarship
1801 E. Cotati Avenue
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
Please include "Robert Coleman-Senghor Scholarship" on the memo line.
*Quoted from Sonoma State University Academic Senate Resolution, April 14, 2011.