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Chico State

Paying It Forward

Elizabeth, in a Student Philanthropy Council t-shirt, brightly greets a student and their parents at the Family Weekend BBQ
Jason Halley/University Photogra

Elizabeth Face (center) talks with Michele Pitto, Matt Pitto, Greg Pitto (left to right), parents and families that enjoy the Family Weekend BBQ event on the Kendall Hall Lawn on Friday, October 7, 2016 in Chico, Calif. (Jason Halley/University Photographer)

By Elizabeth Face

Isn’t it rad how you can have an immediate, special connection with someone when they say, “I went to Chico State”? It doesn’t matter if they graduated in 1973 or 2018—you know that your Chico Experience was similar to those before you.

My journey up until Chico State was nothing extraordinary. I was from a small town in the desert of Southern California, and for 99.9% of my life I was convinced I never wanted to move out of So Cal. I was a beach girl, and I always saw myself remaining in that kind of environment. It wasn’t until I got denied from my first-choice colleges that I realized Chico State was always meant to be my home.  

I knew some friends from high school who went to school in Chico and said it was “the best thing ever.” So I gave it a shot. I applied and was accepted. I decided I should probably visit campus (even though, to be honest, I still wanted nothing to do with Northern California).

I remember landing at the Sacramento International Airport and driving up Highway 99. I never felt so lost and out of place. I thought I had my mind made up that Chico was not for me.

Then I got to campus. Within a few hours, I knew Chico was home.

I think every Chico State student feels that at some point in their journey, but for me it was instant. I loved everything about it. The trees, the buildings, the comfort of knowing that all your friends live just walking distance away.

While I was at Chico State, I worked hard. I was in the business program, which for many students is challenging. I worked part time almost my entire college career and was in multiple organizations, such as Alpha Delta Pi and KCSC Radio, and I took leadership roles in every single one.

My brief moments away from all my responsibilities were spent making memories I’d cherish forever. I hiked in Bidwell Park, met my friends at The Bear on Tuesdays, and drove down Highway 32 just to drive. At the end of the day, I think that I had the ultimate Chico Experience.

Elizabeth Face (center), who now works as a social media specialist for a San Francisco-based fashion company, has returned to campus to participate in Career Fair recruitments as an alumna. (Photo courtesy of Face)

Early on, I became deeply involved in philanthropy and learned the importance of giving back. I am a proud founder of the Student Philanthropy Council, where I also served as an officer. Throughout the years, I talked to thousands of students, alumni, and parents, encouraging them to support the University with private funding. I gave as a student, and I give to this day.


The answer is simple: Without education, we do not grow as a society. Every single thing in the world can be solved through education. Chico State is where people find themselves, and it’s where they decide what they are going to dedicate their life to. Wildcats have always been a family, and whether you know it or not, every single person at Chico State got extra help than they needed.

I want all of the students who go to Chico after me to have all the amazing memories that I had.

That’s why I give.

After graduation, there are steps the majority of business students take: go to a career fair, find a sales job, work 9–5 in business casual, and so on. All of that is completely fine! I know so many of my peers who did that and are beyond happy with their lives. But I knew that wasn’t me.

I applied to companies that focused on the arts, which is what I love more than anything. When I saw that a clothing company I regularly shopped at was hiring for a social media position, I applied “just because,” thinking I would never hear anything back. Two months later, I started my career at the alternative women’s fashion brand For the Misfits and Miss Legits. Just like my first day at Chico State, I knew this company was meant for me.

A typical day in my office includes techno music booming over the loudspeakers, models running around trying to get the perfect shot, and a ton of down-to-earth people who all believe that you can (and should) be whoever you want to be. As a social media specialist, I play a part in our biggest marketing efforts and communicate directly to our 2.5 million followers, which is so rewarding and something I look forward to every day.

My dreams are coming true because of Chico State. I want to make the dreams of today’s students come true, and I know you do, too.

Please consider being the change you want to see by donating any amount to any area on campus. All you have to do is text “chiconow” to 71777 or go to to make your gift.

Elizabeth Face is one of the founding members of Chico State’s Student Philanthropy Council. She graduated in 2017 with a degree in business administration.