The award was presented to John Palmer, chair of the committee, Barbara Biebush, Sue Thomas, Lucy Kortum, and Jan Hitchcock, a volunteer group of Sonoma's ERFA Chapter, for researching and writing "Sonoma State University, Memories and Historical Highlights 1961-2011."
This first history of Sonoma State University is dedicated to all former students, faculty, and staff, and especially to founding president, Dr. Ambrose R. Nichols, Jr. The research and writing of the book took place over a four year period involving many meetings and many trips to the university to search through old documents and photo files.
More than 60 retired faculty, staff, former students and community members shared their memories of the 50-year life span of the institution.The University, the statewide Emeritus & Retired Faculty Association, the local ERFA Chapter, and the SSU Alumni Association, all financially helped support the publication.
The publication highlights Sonoma's early history starting in an apartment complex with an enrollment of 250 students, many older than their teachers in 1961 and became Sonoma County's first four year college and later a respected University. The sixty plus memories provides some significant memories of its beginning and developmental problems.
Those memories can be read online at www.sonoma.edu/50th/memories. Photos include all of its eight presidents, including President Ruben Armiñana who has served since 1992, a group photo of the early faculty and staff, some of its distinguished faculty as well as photos of all major buildings on campus and a wide variety of students and student activities. More than 200 historic photos were included.
The attractive publication is a fitting tribute to a major university serving the North Bay area of California that has grown from being known as "Granula U" to Sonoma State University.