Claude GanzClaude Ganz


Sonoma State University

Mr. Claude Ganz is known for his business acumen as well ​as being a strategic adviser for start-up businesses and a generous humanitarian and philanthropist. At Sonoma State University, he was the tireless driving force in the formation of a significant new Jewish Studies Program. A survivor of the Holocaust, Mr. Ganz is an advocate for Jewish education as a way of promoting interfaith tolerance. His time and vision not only resulted in the well-received Jewish Studies Program, but he has raised funds to support its permanent endowment.

Mr. Ganz immigrated to the United States from Europe. After fleeing Germany with his family during the Hitler regime, he went to France where he was placed in a deportation camp from which he and his family escaped to Switzerland in 1942. After four years of Swiss internment as a refugee, he came to California in 1947.

From 1951-1954, he served in the U.S. Army Intelligence Service. Two years later, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Berkeley in industrial management. He serves on several boards, including the American Conservatory Theatre and PBS station KQED, and is the former president of the San Francisco Jewish Museum.

Mr. Ganz has enjoyed a highly successful career and a distinguished professional life. From 1956 to 1978, he was the chairman and chief executive officer for DYMO Industries, a multinational company. In 1962, he received the President Kennedy Award for Export Expansion. In 1987, when his European-based company was bought out by the Swedish government, the King of Sweden honored him with a medal for his contributions to the Swedish economy.

In 1996, Mr. Ganz and his wife, Lynn, were appointed as Special Envoys by President Clinton to aid with the peace process in war-torn Bosnia. On their return, Mr. Ganz founded BDi, a nonprofit foundation to provide entrepreneurship education in the Balkans. He was awarded the Peace Prize by the Bosnian government for that effort.

In recognition of his outstanding service and his commitment to Sonoma State University, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and Sonoma State University are proud to confer upon Claude Ganz the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.