Elvin Shepherd

Alum Elvin Shepherd’s (’36) service to the University began when he was a student at Chico State Teacher’s College in the 1930s, where he served as student body president and as sheriff of Pioneer Week. A four-year football star, he was later inducted into the Chico State Athletic Hall of Fame in 1986.

He coached sports at several high schools before beginning his career in maintenance operations at CSU, Chico in the early 1950s. He is perhaps most remembered for his role in the 1963 construction of the Eagle Lake Biological Station in Lassen County.

With support from then-industrial arts professor Bob Meran and student and staff volunteers, Shepherd led construction of the 100-by-20 foot building in just a few weekends. After the purchase of basic equipment like water supply and septic tanks through a National Science Foundation grant, the station was ready for use in spring 1964.

At the time of the station’s dedication in 1968, former Eagle Lake station director Thomas Rodgers compared the station to a newborn child, and wrote that “without Shep’s unselfish and untiring efforts, our child rapidly growing and full of promise … would be an emaciated and underdeveloped infant.”

Always one to help, Shepherd also donated his time and services to construct Caper Acres playground in Bidwell Park, and was a longtime member of Kiwanis and Native Sons of the Golden West.

He served as head of maintenance operations for 22 years before his retirement in 1970. Shepherd, who passed away in 2001, is posthumously honored as someone who put his heart and soul into his work.