Henry Curtis Hansel

Honorary Degrees

Sonoma State University​

With a last name that has been synonymous with Sonoma County business since 1851, Mr. Henry Curtis Hansel is both an accomplished businessman and a philanthropist with a legacy of fostering a culture of generosity throughout the North Bay community.

As president of the family-directed Hansel Auto Group since 1982, Mr. Hansel has been a respected community leader for decades. His benevolence has been felt by local groups including the Food for Thought Food Bank, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Marin and Southern Sonoma Counties, the Redwood Empire Food Bank and the United Way.

In particular, he has given generously of his time and resources to Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center where he has served as a member of its Board of Advisors since 2012. Four years later, he rose to the level of board chair. He continually dedicates his time and philanthropy to ensure that the Green Music Center is connecting with the campus, its students and the greater community, providing access to diverse artistic experiences that educate, connect and inspire.

In the wake of the October 2017 devastating fires, Mr. Hansel further demonstrated his dedication to Sonoma County by serving on the board of Rebuild North Bay and traveling to Sacramento and Washington, D.C. with other local leaders to advocate on behalf of the rebuilding efforts. His passion for the residents of the North Bay and his commitment to "giving back to the community" was never more evident than during those days.

Mr. Hansel received his Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Santa Clara. For his exceptional financial and operational knowledge, he was nominated for the TIME Magazine auto dealer of the year award in 2010, one of the automobile industry’s most prestigious and highly coveted awards for new car dealers. He is a past chairman and board member of the United Way of the Wine Country, a past director of the former Bank of Petaluma and a current board member of Hennessey Advisors, Inc.

In recognition of his outstanding leadership to Sonoma County and his advocacy, advice and support for Sonoma State University and the Green Music Center, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and Sonoma State University are proud to confer upon Mr. Henry Curtis Hansel the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.