Former SSU President David Benson Passes Away

Dr. David Benson, president of Sonoma State University from 1984-1992, passed away on Oct. 1, 2013 at the age of 81 due to complications from kidney disease.

Benson's academic career began as an instructor at UCLA and was followed by 23 years at CSU Northridge where he was Professor of Physical Education before serving as Dean, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Executive Vice President of the University. He then came to Sonoma State University where he served as a strong and well-respected president for eight years.

“He brought peace and progress to the University,” said Ruben Armiñana.

Benson played a significant role in reconstructing the campus. Some of his achievements over the course of his presidency included rehiring 25 faculty members laid off by former president Peter Diamandopoulos and hiring the first development director in hopes to raise private funds to maintain state funding.

The goals that Benson envisioned for the University were not just mere thoughts. Benson sought out those ideas and implemented them throughout the University. He will be greatly missed.

An obituary about his life, and his presidency at SSU, can be found at: