Senior Terrence Carter, an environmental science major, died Thursday, September 12. He was 31.

Born January 18, 1988, he attended American River College and graduated with an AS in environmental conservation and an AS in administration of justice. He transferred to Chico State in Spring 2016. He was on track to graduate this fall, and walked with his classmates in spring Commencement ceremonies, proudly wearing his cap and gown.

After a few summer classes, he was embracing the final chapter of his studies this fall, including attending a field trip to Drakesbad meadow in Lassen Volcanic National Park the week he passed away.

Carter took three courses from geological and environmental sciences professor Shane Mayor in the last few years, and through a series of events in both their lives and a shared love of fishing, they developed a friendship. Mayor said he truly admired Carter for how he handled challenges in his life outside of school and how dedicated he was to his studies, commuting from Marysville and pushing himself to do well in class. 

“I was always impressed by how carefully and thoughtfully Terrence spoke,” he said. “And his personality was clearly one who cared. He was a thinker and he cared about the world and the environment.”

Portrait of Terrence in his cap and gown.
Carter walked in Commencement ceremonies in spring and was finishing his final courses this semester.

Carter was respectful, inquisitive, and kind, said geological and environmental sciences professor Kristen Kaczynski, who was also his major advisor.

“In class, he was a quiet student but you could tell he was just taking it all in. Occasionally he’d ask clarifying questions or have comments that would make me pause for a second because I had not thought of it that way,” she said. “As his advisor, I was always so impressed with his dedication and determination to complete his degree.”

Away from his studies, Carter spent as much free time as he could fishing on local waterways and hunting birds, especially in the company of his faithful canine companion, Beau.

The University flag will be lowered in his honor Monday, September 23. A service will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, September 25, at Lakeside Colonial Chapel, 830 D Street, Marysville.