​​​For decades, Constance “Connie” Codding has been synonymous with philanthropy and civic engagement in her lifelong home of Sonoma County.

As one of the best known and most generous philanthropists in the region—through the Codding Foundation she started in the 1960s with her late husband, Hugh—Connie has been a loyal friend to Sonoma State University. As generous as her financial gifts have been, Connie has never been the type of philanthropist who writes a check and moves on to the next project. She is an enthusiastic and frequent presence on the Sonoma State campus and a tireless advocate for young people and lifelong learning.

When Connie was the age of most college students, life got in the way of her graduating college. Because of this, one of the Sonoma State programs she’s been most involved with has been the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, known as OLLI, a unique learning community for adults, ages 50 or older. Connie is an OLLI donor and a member of its advisory board and outreach committee. Connie and her family have created and supported the Hugh Codding Entrepreneur-in-Residence program at Sonoma State’s School of Business to create mentorship opportunities for students in local schools and at Sonoma State with employers in the region.

The mother of five young children, grandmother of 10 and a great grandmother as well, Connie is devoted to the health, well-being and educational opportunities of young people everywhere. In Sonoma County, she helped fund a Planned Parenthood clinic in Rohnert Park and has supported a clinic at a local elementary school. Other gifts have aided a local surgery center that provides urgently needed oral surgery to low-income children, as well as her involvement in saving a nearby high school clinic from closure.

Throughout a busy and highly productive life, Connie continues to play a hugely positive leadership role with her community and Sonoma State. An inspired example of someone who lives everyday to the fullest, Connie never stops searching for ways to bring joy and opportunities to those less fortunate than herself.

In recognition of her many accomplishments and contributions to the university and its surrounding communities, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and Sonoma State University are proud to confer upon Constance “Connie” Codding the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.