Emeritus and Retired Faculty and Staff Association

Daniel DeWayne


University Public Engagement

Dan DeWayne was already a successful arts presenter when he returned to his alma mater to work for University Public Events (UPE). Over the span of 15 years, he led the effort to transform Laxson Auditorium into a premier showcase for arts, lectures, and entertainment in the Western United States.

DeWayne co-founded the popular Strawberry Music Festival, the Chico World Music Festival, and the California World Fest, and produced Chico’s Shakespeare in the Park. Then he had the opportunity to become UPE’s associate director which allowed him to work with legendary director Pat Kopp, a 2013 Hall of Honor inductee.

When DeWayne became director in 2001, he expanded the ways UPE, and its presenting arm, Chico Performances, served the campus and the greater community. He added more performances for K–12 students on field trips, which at its peak, brought over 15,000 schoolchildren to campus each year. DeWayne used his festival experience to attract major talent to the Laxson Auditorium stage, including initiating the President’s Lecture Series featuring Nobel Peace Prize recipients such as Desmond Tutu, Jody Williams, and Mikhail Gorbachev.

Along with directing UPE and Chico Performances, DeWayne also assumed oversight for KCHO, helping build its new identity as North State Public Radio. He worked with many colleagues across campus to enhance the quality of important events, including Commencement and convocation. DeWayne also served as lead staff for the Instructionally Related Activities Committee on campus.

Prior to his retirement in 2012, DeWayne received two prestigious honors from his peers in the arts presenting field: the 2010 Award for Excellence in Presenting the Performing Arts from the North American Performing Arts Managers and Agents, and the 2010 Darlene Neel Award for Dedicated Mentoring from the Western Arts Alliance. The City of Chico also honored DeWayne for the contribution UPE has made to the quality of life in Chico.

DeWayne earned his BA in psychology from Chico State in 1973. He is also a proud alumnus of the Peace Corps, having served in Mali in West Africa from 1977–79. The experience contributed to his appreciation for world music and diverse cultures, as expressed in the long-running theme for Chico Performances: Bridging Our World.

Portrait of Daniel DeWayne