Freshman Riley Christiansen, a business administration major, passed away November 9. He was 18.

Born February 28, 2002, in Mountain View, he grew up in Clayton and enrolled at Chico State in fall 2020 after graduating from Clayton Valley Charter High School. Even though classes are being held virtually, he was excited to begin college and move to Chico, working toward a career in business where he could leverage his people skills.

Faculty members said Christiansen persisted through many challenges this semester, including moving from the residence halls to an apartment due to COVID-19 conditions on campus, and taking a full course load virtually. They described him as nice, kind, and someone who wanted to do well in his classes, connecting with them often outside of classes.

“He was so bright, so respectful, and so motivated,” said economics professor Anita Chaudhry. “I enjoyed having him in my class.”

His family shared that Christiansen loved playing sports and his favorite place was the beach. Outgoing, warm, and caring, he gave his strength, compassion, energy, and wisdom to those he was close to.

“Riley was full of love and was loved by all. He had that bright smile and contagious laugh that would make his presence known everywhere he went,” said business administration major and high school friend David Doigny. “Riley was the kind of guy you met one time, but it felt as if you have known him a lifetime with how caring he was to everyone he met.”

Christiansen is survived by his mother, Lisa, father Kevin, brother Brady, sister Cally, grandparents Ed and Maureen Christiansen and Judy Dudley, and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, November 19, and St. Bonaventure Catholic Church in Concord.

The University flag will be lowered Monday, November 16, in his honor.