Spring Dean's Message

March 23, 2021

We are all hopeful that with the arrival of spring and the swift pace of vaccinations in Sonoma County and among our community that we will see each other in person soon! We have been through an extraordinary year together—largely virtual but still together. I am so very grateful to our Arts & Humanities faculty, staff, and students for pulling together and for everyone’s continued commitment to teaching excellence and student success.

Only seven weeks until Commencement season! There will be two ceremonies, the morning of May 15, 2021 for the Class of 2020 and the morning of May 22, 2021 for the Class of 2021. Details to come. There will be virtual as well as drive-through celebration opportunities. We want to see you one way or another.

Hollis Robbins, Dean

Hollis Robbins, Dean

We are planning for Fall 2021 and I am delighted with how many A&H courses will be offered in person. I am also appreciative that a percentage of our most successful online courses will remain online while we carefully repopulate the campus. It will be thrilling to hear more live music from the Green Music Center and see more live dance and theatre in Person Theatre. I look forward to seeing art students with easels painting by the lake and lively Hutchins School seminar discussions under tents. I am looking forward to celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Department of American Multicultural Studies as well as the Department of Chicano and Latino Studies. Details forthcoming.

In fact, Happy 60th Birthday Sonoma State University! We are looking forward to celebrating in September. In February 1961, President Ambrose Nichols took the helm of the new university and classes began for 274 upper-level students in Fall 1961, in various buildings around Rohnert Park. The following year, first-year students were admitted and soon construction would begin on Darwin and Stevenson Halls. The first graduation was held in 1966. Nichols Hall, home to many Arts & Humanities offices, was dedicated in 1976.

Finally, on a somber note, we note the untimely passing of Music faculty member Tony Collins. Tony taught trombone, euphonium, and tuba at Sonoma State since 2009 and has been beloved by his students as well as those he taught alongside. He was talented in performance and skilled in his teaching and is missed by all of us.   

The deep concern we have shown one another this year, more than any other year, is characteristic of the devotion we have to our educational and creative mission in the School of Arts & Humanities. We have been through an extraordinary year together; thank you.


Hollis Robbins, PhD

Dean, School of Arts & Humanities