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In The News

Sonoma State University's New Student Center to Mark Grand Opening With Day of Festivities. Nov. 13

The doors of Sonoma State University’s new Student Center will open with a grand afternoon celebration, featuring a ribbon-cutting ceremony, self-guided tours, and giveaways on Wednesday, Nov. 13. The public is invited to attend.

The festivities begin at noon with speeches from President Ruben Armiñana and Associated Students President Mac Hart. Self-guided tours of the three story, 130,000-square foot building follow.

Free food samples, caricature artists, music, photo booths, and giveaways are offered throughout the afternoon, giving community members an intimate opportunity to explore the newest venue on the 269-acre campus.

Designed as a central location for social, recreational and cultural life at SSU, the Student Center includes a 4,000-square foot lounge area with open ceilings and a fireplace feature, state-of-the-art conference spaces, and the largest ballroom in Sonoma County that spans nearly 12,000 square feet.

Expanded dining options are among the most anticipated offerings of the new campus hub. Executive Chef Eric Lee, the former Next Food Network star, with experience at Healdsburg's Simi Winery for 11 years, has been given free rein to unleash his creativity over campus dining. And, it shows.

Less than six months on the job, he has worked tirelessly to create a totally new culinary experience for the campus. Faculty and staff will join the students in a variety of options never before seen at SSU.

Among these is the innovative Chef’s Demonstration Kitchen, which introduces an instructional element into campus dining with daily lessons on food preparation. With cameras overhead to zoom in on action, chefs will help to ease the student transition from eating at home to cooking for themselves.

Students will be able to learn about new foods based on the idea of a famous chef with themed dishes centered on culinary artists such as Anthony Bourdain or Mario Batali whose recipes and meals will be provided for the entire day.

“They can try a little portion and see if they like it,” said Lee. “I want to really educate these kids; they are at a school, why not do that.”

The contemporary building is a creation of San Francisco-based architects Hornberger & Worstell. Based out of Tempe, Arizona, Sundt Construction served as Construction Manager, and interior design was developed by San Francisco firm Alamosa Design.

The $62 million project is funded by a partner group including University Housing, Sonoma State Enterprises, Associated Students, the Student Union Corporation, and a $150-per-semester student fee passed by a student vote in 2011.

Complete details can be found at


For additional information about the Student Center, visit the website at or email

For regular updates and photos, find the Student Center on social media sites including Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Media inquiries may be directed to: Casey Kelly, Marketing Coordinator, Entrepreneurial Activities, Sonoma State University, (707) 664-2757 or

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