Permanent Memorial for Robert Coleman-Senghor Unveiled in Cotati

A "fitting memorial for our friend and colleague" was unveiled for SSU Professor Robert Coleman- Senghor on November 7 at the Veterans Park (also known as Rose Park), near the Athena mask statue at the intersection of Old Redwood Highway and East Cotati Ave. in Cotati.

The English professor, also a Cotati City Council member, died unexpectedly in 2011. Efforts to recognize the "profound difference Bob made in our lives and for the city" were spearheaded by Cotati mayor Mark Landman over the past few years.

"Thanks to the kind donations of the many community members who so greatly appreciated Bob, we've been able to have a 16" x 20" bronze plaque made that features Bob's image, a description of his service to his country, Sonoma State University and the City of Cotati, along with a favored inscription of his," said Landman.

The plaque, which includes an 11" x 9" etched portrait of Coleman Senghor, will be set in an approximately four feet tall Sonoma field stone boulder in the park in the center of downtown Cotati across from the fire station.

The entire memorial was accomplished with private donations from Coleman-Senghor's neighbors, friends, and colleagues, including a generous donation of stone fabrication by Louie Zamaroni of Wheeler-Zamaroni. His family, as well as all the individuals who donated to the project, helped unveil the memorial.

Coleman-Senghor joined the English Department at SSU in 1972. Known as a tough professor who took great care to challenge his students, Coleman-Senghor specialized in 19th and 20th century American Literature, and started the California Cultural Studies Program in 1990.

In 2008 he was elected as Mayor of Cotati, and afterward became a member of the Cotati City Council.