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Chico State


Portrait of Norman Tu standing in a warehouse

Alum and CEO Creates Joy In Serving Others

After fleeing China as a child with his family, alum Norman Tu has found success in business and joy in life by making it happen all on his own.

A portrait of Farshad Azad

Alum Establishes Scholarship to Support Students Advancing Social Justice

To honor George Floyd, alum Farshad Azad founded a scholarship supporting students fighting for social justice—40 years after he first experienced racism himself.

Anna Paladini smiles behind a mask as she gives blood.

Answering the Community’s Call

Creating sanitation kids, supplying protective equipment, and donating blood, Wildcats put their heart into community service

Stars shine above Trinity Hall.

Fond Farewell: Alumna and Philanthropist Marilyn Warrens

Marilyn Warrens' life was characterized by her steadfast dedication to civic and community service, which included a significant and lasting connection to Chico State.

Cassidy Sabral grips the reins with a look of determination as she rides her horse in an arena.

The Power of Perseverance and a Gift

Scholarship support and determination are making animal science major Cassidy Sabral's dream to be a large-animal vet come true.

A rendering of a small cottage.

Engineering an Icon

Students and faculty within the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management are key players in the rebuild of the Honey Run Covered Bridge and adjacent caretaker home.

Two female college students stand back to back in front of trees.

Feeding a Grieving Community

While recreation administration students volunteer to feed meals for Paradise residents, they're also witnessing a community coming together.

Zada Evans sits on a concrete wall under a canopy of trees.

Wildcats Rising

Three students share how they are moving forward in the wake of the Camp Fire, with support of a Strada Wildcats Rise Scholarship.

Robert Laxson sits at a piano while wearing a tuxedo.

Destroyed Piano Plays on in Student Scholarships

The family of legendary professor C. Robert Laxson donated the insurance payout for a cherished heirloom lost in the Camp Fire to an endowment for music students.

Michael Halldorson poses for a portrait in the Janet Turner Print Museum, with a portrait of Turner behind him.

5 Questions with Distinguished Alumnus Michael Halldorson

Inspired by his professor Janet Turner, Michael Halldorson ('69, '71) has devoted his life to a legacy of giving back and sharing art with others.

Chris Navarrete conducts a music rehearsal with a clarinet player playing in the foreground

Navarrete Comes Full-Circle as New Director of Bands

Chris Navarrete has big shoes to fill as the new director of bands—and there's nobody better-suited to fill them.

Jackie Rodriguez adjusts a trail camera mounted to a tree by a strap.

‘Adopt An Acre’ Catches Critters on Camera

With support from the Adopt An Acre program, student researchers are using trail cameras to get a snapshot of the wildlife that roams the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve.

Members of Chico State faculty and administration stand in front of Kendall Hall.

School of Social Work Secures $850,000 Gift for Superior Region Endowment

Chico State’s School of Social Work received an $850,000 donation for its Distributed Learning Program (DLP) to help provide accessible education in the North State.

A box signed by Jim Morris sits in the Hungry Wildcat Food Pantry.

Message on a Box: Chico State Alum Helps Feed Today’s Wildcats

Student employees at the Hungry Wildcat Food Pantry were unpacking a food delivery when they came across a hand-written note on one of the boxes. Who was JBM?

A rock inscribed with the words "home sweet home" sits among the rubble of a burnt house, with only the chimney still standing behind it.

From Now On

Five students, faculty, and staff who lost their homes in the Camp Fire share how their lives have changed since that fateful morning. Each has their own challenges and hopes for the future.

Jaime Valdovinos walks through an outdoor hallway on campus carrying his back and reusable water bottle

Setting an Example

Jaime Valdovinos left his home in Mexico alone at age 17 to pursue an education. Now a first-generation college graduate eyeing law school, he hopes to be an example for his 14 siblings.

Alexa Benson-Valavanis sits in a chair in her light-flooded office.

When Community Calls

The local foundation Alexa Benson-Valavanis shaped to support area nonprofits suddenly went global last fall as one of the main places to donate during the Camp Fire.

Children throw parachute toys off a ledge for Imagineer Day.

Imagineer Day Stirs Young STEM Minds

Led by the Society of Women Engineers, Chico State hosted more than 220 local K-8 students at its seventh annual Imagineer Day.

Miliah Haslerig types on a laptop at the Career Fair.

With Alumni Donations, Business Students Dress the Part

Dressing to impress can be a struggle for qualified but cash-strapped business students seeking jobs. That's where the Professional Attire Fund comes in.

The face of Kendall Hall is shown in late afternoon.

12 Students Honored With Rawlins Merit Awards

The award—one of the largest and most prestigious at Chico State—celebrates scholarship, extracurricular activities, and outstanding academic and professional accomplishments.

The Wildcats Rise logo is seen over a sunrise behind Trinity Hall.

Wildcats Rise Supports Hundreds of Students, Employees

The Wildcats Rise Fire Recovery Fund has distributed more than $661,000 to 534 students, faculty, and staff impacted by wildfire since early November.

Stars shine above Trinity Hall.

Fond Farewell: Philanthropist and Honorary Doctorate Recipient Steve Nettleton

Steve Nettleton, known for his generous service to the community, was the second in the University’s history to earn an honorary doctorate.

A student helps a young boy make a Christmas tree out of green pipecleaners.

Planting Hope, Harvesting Joy

For their final project, "Agricultural Leadership" students raised more than $35,000 in toys, blankets, backpacks, gift cards, and other gifts for schools and families directly impacted by the Camp Fire.

Stickers and t-shirts featuring the design of a pine tree over the state of California are displayed.

Alum Brings Healing with #ButteStrong Design

It took Chico State alum Zac Acker less than three minutes to sketch out the design, & when he posted it on the 12 Volt Tattoo Facebook page, it was clear the #ButteStrong design was a remembrance for what Paradise residents had lost in the Camp Fire—as well as what it still had.

Josh Leavy smiles as he brews Resilience IPA in a container reading "San Francisco Brewing Co."

Beer-Crafting Alums Respond With Resilience

Answering the call to raise money for the Sierra Nevada Camp Fire Relief Fund, brewers from across the country have signed on to sell Resilience, an IPA crafted from donated ingredients and packaged in Sierra Nevada cans.

Chico State Cycling Team working to clear Brian Kavenaugh’s fire break to mitigate against the Camp Fire.

Chico State Cyclists Circle up to Help Teammate

Some teammates are just teammates. But when one member of the Chico State Cycling Team asked for help building a line break around his home as the Camp Fire marched through the foothills, his teammates didn’t hesitate to help.

Piles of donated goods sit on the lawn in front of the Phi Kappa Tau house, with a sign reading "Donate here."

Chico State Greeks Join Forces to Provide For Evacuees

With Phi Kappa Tau leading the way in rounding up donations, Chico State fraternities and sororities came together with a big day-one donation drive to provide for evacuees and victims of the Camp Fire.

Student Katie Allen talks to a teacher across a table covered in markers and other supplies.

Teachers Help Teachers Color Classrooms with Love

School of Education students joined educators from across Butte County to Color a Classroom with Love, providing Paradise teachers who lost their classrooms in the Camp Fire with a start on the supplies they need to resume teaching.

Jennifer Lefort stands among rows of beds set up at the Neighborhood Church evacuation center.

Students Care for Evacuees’ Physical and Mental Wellness

Dozens of cots lined East Avenue Church in tidy rows, a stark contrast to the chaos from which Camp Fire evacuees fled. Every face reflected the effects of exhaustion mixed with terror, the air of uncertainty as thick as the smoke outside.

Livestock judging Team members stand in the smoky haze at the Butte County Fairgrounds.

Student Team Lends a Hand to Help Livestock

Combining love of agriculture with large animal expertise, the Livestock Judging Team cleaned pens and fed donkeys, horses, llamas and other creatures displaced by the Camp Fire.

Michael McNairn and Sara Rumiano huddle over a desk while reviewing paperwork in the Procurement office at Chico State.

Harnessing the Power of Purchasers

Chico State purchasing staff put their unique expertise to work for the county's Camp Fire taskforce responsible for sourcing, buying, and paying for critical supplies.

Volunteers working to assemble 1,200 sandwiches for firefighters, first responders, and shelter volunteers during the Camp Fire.

Feeding Those Affected by the Flames

The nonprofit World Central Kitchen has served up thousands of meals for Camp Fire first responders and evacuees—efforts fueled by Chico State volunteers.

Kallie Griffin types on a laptop in the medical command center, a wall of medical supplies behind her.

Creating Comfort and Order out of Chaos

When a group of Chico State students found a Camp Fire evacuation shelter in need of aid to track those in its care who were displaced, establish a medical records system, and help with filling prescriptions, they launched into action.

Jessica Anthony prepares to take a call as her mother reviews application paperwork.

Answering the Call for Care

In the wake of the Camp Fire, all volunteers are being routed through the nonprofit Caring Choices. Students, employees, and alumni are helping lead the charge of vetting and assigning applicants where they are needed most.

The sun filters through the trees over Kendall Hall.

University Foundation Board Aids Campus with Special Endowment Awards

More than $115,000 has been awarded to 12 programs and projects to enhance research and mentorship, increase hands-on learning opportunities, and support student success.

Casey takes a selfie with two young girls at the Heart Walk

It all adds up for award-winning accounting alumna

As Ashley Casey has taken on greater challenges in her career as an accountant—making a professional name for herself on the state and national levels—she has also developed a love for giving back.

A student holds a young child in her arms at the Kristina Chesterman Memorial Clinic.

Living Her Dream

The opening of the Kristina Chesterman Memorial Clinic in Nigeria marked a dream come true, not only for its namesake but for faculty, classmates, and students who follow in her footsteps.

Corina Yetter leans against a shelf of books in the Meriam Library.

No Room for Error

Corina Yetter has waited more than 20 years to finish her bachelor's degree, and faced incredible odds along the way.

A student talks with a young child.

A Love for Humanity

In act of global service, nursing professor Faye Mitchell-Brown led a team 10 of students on a trip to provide health care in rural Mexico.

A field filled with orange flags reading "Each orange flag represents 15 students suffering from food insecurity."

University Tackles Students’ Most Basic Needs: Housing and Hunger

After a 2016 report showed nearly one in four students in the California State University system is going hungry, Chico State aims to ensure no student faces food or housing insecurity while in pursuit of an education.