Emeritus and Retired Faculty and Staff Association

James Luyirika-Sewagudde, Jr.


International Education and Global Engagement
Academic Advising Programs


Few, if any Chico State staff members, have had a longer tenure and greater impact on students’ lives than James Luyirika-Sewagudde Jr. He of the long and mellifluous last name was known to colleagues simply as “James.”

Luyirika-Sewagudde Jr. worked on campus for a remarkable 47 years, spending most of his time in the International Education and Global Engagement (IEGE, formerly the Office of International Education [OIE]) and Academic Advising Programs (AAP) office. As an advisor for international students and scholars, he helped hundreds of young people adjust to life in the U.S. and in Chico, and to successfully navigate Byzantine immigration policies, find classes, housing, jobs, and other necessities.

“He is a phenomenal adviser,” said Frank Li, former OIE director. “He really connects with students, and students love him. He has touched so many lives in so many ways.”

Luyirika-Sewagudde Jr. was a leader in the National Association of International Educators (NAFSA) for many years, including serving as a regional chair and coach for the NAFSA Academy. He received two prestigious awards from the organization: the KC ISSS Award of Excellence in 2013 and the Ron Moffatt Award in 2019.

In 1977, Luyirika-Sewagudde Jr. established Chico State’s membership in the National Student Exchange (NSE) program, which led to approximately 3372 students participating in an exchange between the University and other member institutions. He also served on the NSE Council and was awarded the NSE Exemplary Coordinator Award.

On campus, Luyirika-Sewagudde Jr. was a widely respected member of countless committees and groups, including the Chico State Black Faculty and Staff Association. In 2004, Luyirika-Sewagudde Jr. was named a Fulbright Scholar and traveled to South Africa with other staff and faculty to explore how life had changed in the 10 years since the end of apartheid. In 2011, Luyirika-Sewagudde Jr. was honored as the Chico State Staff Employee of the Year.

One of Luyirika-Sewagudde Jr’s campus accomplishments was helping to establish the International Education Fund, which provides emergency funding for international students typically not eligible for traditional financial aid. After his retirement in 2019, the fund was renamed in his honor.

Luyirika-Sewagudde Jr. came to the U.S. from Uganda in 1964 and graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota. He attended Chico State and earned master's degrees in both psychology and education, and then began his long working career on campus as a graduate student assistant in 1972 and later as staff in 1975.

Portrait of James Luyirika-Sewagudde, Jr.