Sanford I. WeillSanford I. Weill


Sonoma State University

Joan and Sanford I. "Sandy" Weill's lives can be characterized by their extensive business and philanthropic work in myriad areas with a dedicated personal focus on education, healthcare, culture and the arts. They strongly believe that the arts are a very important part of the growth and understanding of young people and should always be a part of the fabric of their lives. The Weills' involvement, experience and generous gifts have made that possible for many, and they believe it can help bridge cultural divides that exist throughout the world.

As major donors to the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall, Lawn & Commons at the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University, they have shared not only their resources but the strength of their leadership and experience. They are a united duo, thoroughly complementing one another, as evidenced by their 56 years of marriage.

Mr. Weill has been a strong force in worldwide business as he helped create Citigroup where he served as chairman and CEO. Prior to that, he had been president of American Express Company and chairman and chief executive officer of its Fireman's Fund Insurance Company subsidiary. His affiliation with American Express began in 1981 when it acquired Shearson Loeb Rhoades for $1 billion. Shearson's origins date back to 1960 when Mr. Weill co-founded its predecessor, Carter, Berlind, Potoma & Weill. He served as the firm's chairman from 1965 to 1984, a period in which it completed more than 15 acquisitions to become the country's second largest securities brokerage firm.

Mr. Weill is extremely active with a number of organizations. Some of those include: chairman of Carnegie Hall (since 1991); chairman of Weill Cornell Medical College (since 1995); founder and chairman of the National Academy Foundation (since 1982); chairman of the Green Music Center Board of Advisors at Sonoma State University; a member of the Board of Governors of the San Francisco Symphony; a member of the Executive Council of the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center; and a director of the Lang Lang International Music Foundation. The Weills are recipients of the 2009 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy Award in recognition of their strategic philanthropic efforts.

In recognition of his many contributions to his communities and to his promotion of education and the arts, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and Sonoma State University are proud to confer upon Sanford Weill the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.