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December 14, 2018

Center for Excellence in Finance Assists with Financial Planning for Camp Fire Evacuees

Jaycob Arbogast with the Center for Excellence in Finance assists Camp Fire victims at the Wildcats Rise Care and Resources Center.

On November 8, 2018, the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history, the Camp Fire, erupted and displaced more than 50,000 people in Butte County. Within hours, California State University, Chico had set up Wildcats Rise, a recovery fund to support students and employees directly impacted by the fire.

On November 19 and 26, CSU, Chico hosted the Wildcats Rise Care and Resources Center in the Bell Memorial Union Auditorium for affected Wildcats to provide information and support. Services offered included counseling, flu shots, academic advising, and financial assistance provided by the Center for Excellence in Finance (CEF).

CEF Coordinator Jaycob Arbogast (Business, ’15) knew he could offer financial assistance and had posted in the Wildcats Rise Facebook group offering financial advice through his own off-campus business, Arbogast Advisers LLC. Associate Dean Ken Chapman saw the post and proposed the CEF step in to assist students and employees displaced by the fire.

“The CEF had been working on creating a financial wellness clinic to help the campus community with financial planning for some time,” said Arbogast. “We had a lot of different plans on how to get it started, and this just seemed like an opportunity to just do it—forget the funding and just go for it. The need is so great and will continue to be for a while.”

Over the course of two days, the CEF was able to help campus fire victims answer questions concerning insurance, property, and business loss, and create a long-term financial recovery plan.

“The questions were all over the place,” said Arbogast. “Most people wanted to know what to do with insurance, and there was someone who had lost their home but they were still being billed for a Home Owners Association fee. I also had someone requesting information on how to dissolve an LLC business, after they lost the building in the fire. I provided them with the forms needed, and we talked about how to start a recovery plan.”

More questions concerning financial planning are anticipated, and the CEF is hoping to be able to offer assistance in the months to come.

“The few days after a disaster aren’t the days to start planning ahead,” said Arbogast. “Making sure your life is in order and collecting your loved ones comes first. After that is figuring out how to recover and rebuild your life for the next year or so, and that’s where we’re going to be able to really help.”


The Center for Excellence in Finance works to advance financial wellness in the campus community as well as provide financial career opportunities for finance students at Chico State. For more information, please contact the Center for Excellence in Finance at CEF@csuchico.edu.

Emily Huang
Director, Center for Excellence in Finance