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Chico State

Celebrating Our 2024 Distinguished Alumni

A red banner with the words '2024 Distinguished Alumni' written in white text.

At Chico State, we recognize our outstanding alumni for many reasons. As leaders in their professions, we depend on them to ensure the excellence and integrity of our academic programs, while acting as an enduring inspiration to our students, faculty, and staff. Through their work and their service, they are an inspiration to us all, but especially our students as they, too, hope to transform tomorrow.

On March 8, we celebrate our most talented and successful alumni, affirming the vivacity and contributions they bring to the legacy of Chico State. Not only do the 2024 Distinguished Alumni honorees reflect our longstanding University values, but they have led exceptional lives and made a profound impact through their careers.

Please join us in congratulating our 2024 Distinguished Alumni. Click on their names to read their personal stories in detail and with a Q&A.

College of Agriculture

A black and white headshot of Shannon Douglass.

Shannon Douglass

(Agriculture, ’05; MA, Interdisciplinary Studies, ’12)

President, California Farm Bureau

Shannon Douglass is president of the California Farm Bureau—the first woman to hold this position in the organization’s 105-year history. In addition, Douglass raises beef cattle, sunflowers, pumpkins, corn, and forage crops at her ranch, Douglass Ranch.

“Chico State gives students a unique opportunity to get involved, get your hands dirty, and try new things. That’s where I learned to embrace the opportunity to fail forward, because when I did, someone always cared enough to show me the right way.”

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences

A black and white headshot of Stuart Casillas.

Stuart Casillas

(Economics, ’96; Business Administration, ’96)

Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP

In life and business, Stuart Casillas understands the importance of simple details: respectful communication, following through on promises, and giving back to the next generation.

“It’s all about being a positive influence in every situation, knowing that you’re representing yourself as much as your clients.”

College of Business

Jon Krabbenschmidt

(Business Administration, ’76)


A black and white headshot of Jon Krabbenschmidt

A specialist in tax law, author on affordable housing, real estate investor, and outdoors enthusiast, Jon Krabbenschmidt credits the confidence he gained at Chico State for driving his explorations into new endeavors throughout his life and career.

“Throughout my life, everything I have done is in the spirit of seeking out new experiences to enhance my understanding of how the world works,” Krabbenschmidt said. “One of the greatest skillsets Chico gave me was the confidence to do this. I was never afraid to undertake new projects despite my lack of background and experience.”

College of Communication and Education

Alycia Anderson

(Physical Education, ’05)

Motivational Speaker and CEO, The Alycia Anderson Company, LLC

A black and white headshot of Alycia Anderson.

Alycia Anderson believes disability needs to be an important part of the DEI conversation. An international TEDx speaker and advocate, she works with global companies to expand what inclusion means in the workplace.

“In the whole DEI space that I work in today, 90% of companies are implementing diversity programs, but only 4% of companies include disability in that conversation. I made a conscious decision that I wanted to lead, not follow. …I’m passionate about advocating for these things because it was hard for me to enter the workforce and overcome these challenges. 

College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management

Norman Tu

(Computer Science, ’69)

Entrepreneur and CEO, DCL Logistics

A black and white headshot of Norman Tu.

In 1982, a motivational seminar inspired Norman Tu to pursue his entrepreneurial dreams. Today, his company employs over 350 people and has facilities in several states.

“The key to starting your own business or having any sort of business is not to be discouraged. One thing that I’m most proud of what I’ve accomplished in the last 42 years is that businesses have ups and downs, but the most important thing is I stayed focused in terms of what I wanted to accomplish and stayed strong to what I believe in.”

College of Humanities and Fine Arts

Cristina Chavez

(Music Industry, ’09)

Vice President of A&R, Universal Music Publishing Group

Cristina Chavez came to Chico State from the Bay Area and stepped on campus with a plan—to work in the music business. She never wavered.

“I actually had my whole life mapped out, starting with coming to Chico. I needed to get away from home, but not too far, and I knew Chico State had a good music program and that the business program was top tier,” Chavez said. “It worked out for me beautifully. The teachers were great, the school was great, and I learned a lot.”

College of Natural Sciences

Kimberly Bacigalupo

(Chemistry, ’08)

Quality Manager, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

A black and white headshot of Kimberly Bacigalupo.

Kimberly Bacigalupo has held multiple roles at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. since 2007 and currently works as a quality manager, drawing from her master’s degree in brewing science.

“The biggest contributor to my success was taking opportunities when they were presented, just to see what I liked,” Bacigalupo said. “There are so many directions you can go in, so I think it’s really important to explore all of the industries.”

Distinguished Alumni Service Award

Tom Carter

(Physical Education, ’70; Teaching Credential, ’71; MA, Physical Education, ’75)

Retired Educator

A black and white headshot of Tom Carter.

Tom Carter was a veritable force on the Chico State soccer team, leading the Wildcats to the 1970 Far West Conference championship and later to the West Region championship. Beyond his accomplishments on the pitch, he has been dedicated to students and his community for over three decades, serving as an educator at Paradise High School and extramural organizer for various sports leagues throughout his extensive career.

“Teachers have an interest in kids and lot of us get involved in things outside of school—in activities that typically involve working with kids. And of course, PE teachers are involved in sports and there’s a lot of sporting things going on in the community, like youth soccer and basketball. That’s part of the job.”