Sonoma State University to present honorary doctorates to Hernandez, Benedettis

Herman J. Hernandez and Anne and Dan Benedetti will receive honorary doctorates from Sonoma State University for their work|

Three Sonoma County community advocates will earn honorary doctorate degrees from Sonoma State University later this month for their nearly five decades of local contributions.

Social justice advocate Herman J. Hernandez, and philanthropists and arts education supporters Anne and Dan Benedetti will receive their degrees during the Rohnert Park university’s spring commencement ceremonies May 20 and May 21.

Hernandez, a resident of Guerneville, founded Los Cien in the backroom of a Mary’s Pizza Shack over 14 years ago with other community members.

Since then, the group has gained a reputation for convening community conversations on some of the most important issues facing the Latino community and Sonoma County residents at large, ranging from housing and mental health to candidates in local races.

The Benedettis, of Petaluma, are alums of Sonoma State and have been involved with a number of county organizations. Anne Benedetti, who received a distinguished alumni award in 2010, served as board member for SSU’s Green Music Center and the Santa Rosa Symphony.

Her husband of 52 years, Dan Benedetti, pitched for the Sonoma State baseball team before he became part owner of what would become Clover Sonoma.

Over the years he’s served on boards of directors for United Way of the Wine County, the Community Foundation Sonoma County, Hanna Boys Center and the Culinary Institute of America. He was also a founding member of an ad hoc committee that became the Redwood Empire Food Bank and served on advisory boards for Santa Rosa Junior College and Sonoma State.

Honorary degree recipients are distinguished individuals who serve as examples for their contributions in areas that benefit California State University campuses and surrounding communities, according to Sonoma State.

You can reach Staff Writer Jennifer Sawhney at 707-521-5346 or On Twitter @sawhney_media.

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