Skip to Main Content
Chico State

President’s Column: Thank You, Wildcats

Students Angela Arguelles (left), Christian Hutson (right), representing Women of Excellence and Men of Chico, hold up signs in support of Giving Day 2024 at Chico State.
(Jason Halley / University Photographer)

It’s amazing what we can accomplish when we work together.

I say this often and it resonates deeply during events like our seventh annual Giving Day. This year, on March 6, more than 3,900 University students, staff, faculty, friends, alumni, and supporters came together to raise more than $1.2 million for Chico State—in just one day!

That’s awesome, and shows how much our community cares. This is truly a grassroots-style event that brings us together. Take a look at these 2024 numbers:

A graphic showing data points from Giving Day 2024 at Chico State: 1.2 million dollars raised from 3,900 donors, supporting 256 areas through 5,115 gifts. Gifts came from 14 countries and 46 states, with the farthest gift from Australia. Typical gift size was $50.

Following a stellar 2023 event, the planning team set an ambitious goal to achieve Chico State’s first million-dollar Giving Day. The work began last July and continues throughout the year, from rallying campus groups to securing matching gifts and challenges, to post-event reporting and stewardship.

The team is particularly proud of the big increase (38%) in participating groups this year. Giving Day is an opportunity for departments, clubs, and organizations to fund activities and programs that are important and impactful to students.

The impact on our students and programs is tremendous. Here are a few examples of groups that met their goals:

  • The American Institute of Mechatronic Engineers raised more the $2,500 to pay for competition registration and equipment.
  • The Chico State Livestock Judging Team raised more than $5,300 to continue to compete in college competitions across the nation.
  • Chico State Speech and Debate raised more than $10,900 in support of competition travel, its annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, and the year-end banquet.
  • The Native American Club raised $2,700 toward cultural events and materials for club events, such as beads for jewelry.
  • Rebound Scholars, a newer club on campus, surpassed its goal of $500 to begin promoting the club and conducting outreach.

Giving Day has become a fundamental piece of Chico State’s culture of philanthropy, and for many departments and groups it’s becoming an annual tradition. Ninety percent of the participants from last year, 105 groups, came back in 2024. And the program is growing; 35% of our campaigns participated in Giving Day for the first time!

Students, staff, and faculty worked hard to uplift and publicize their campaigns, creating thank-you videos for donors, hosting text-a-thons, and more. Their work needs to be acknowledged and recognized, as most are going above and beyond to support these efforts. I received a video of gratitude from students less than an hour after I completed an online donation, and it was great hearing from the students who my gift will impact.

I also enjoyed walking through Trinity Commons where many groups gathered to celebrate and promote Giving Day. A Koffee and Kudos event drew a huge crowd that spent a lot of time talking to students and learning about their fundraising goals. The event was a feel-good celebration of philanthropy and a successful fundraiser. Our new provost, Leslie Cornick, celebrated her first Chico State Giving Day by offering a $2,500 match for all faculty and staff gifts to the Chico State Fund, resulting in $20,000 raised in just 90 minutes!

It was an incredibly successful day, and Chico State students will benefit all year from the generosity of our campus community and friends.

I am grateful to Vice President for University Advancement Ahmad Boura, the Giving Day team, and each of our 3,900 donors. A special shout-out goes to our leadership donors, who contributed nearly $500,000 in challenge and matching gifts, a 60% increase compared to last year. Their support is key to the continued growth of Giving Day.

Mostly, I am grateful for what this all says about Chico State. It is a place that impacts so many people who have a great fondness for their experience here. It is a place where wonderful people work to make incredible things happen. And it is the place where our amazing students choose to learn, develop, and be a part of a wonderful community.

Thank you for all you do.