Emeritus and Retired Faculty and Staff Association

Jana Lawton


University Services

Through hard work, creativity, and an abiding desire to help others, Jana Lawton has quietly and significantly enhanced the quality of life at Chico State and throughout the greater Chico community.

Lawton was hired in 1987 as a Clerical Assistant II in University Services, progressed to CA-Ill and Administrative Operations Analyst positions, and eventually became interim director of the department.

During her tenure with University Services, Lawton improved the efficiency and effectiveness of a number of campus procedures. She was also instrumental in researching and developing specifications for several service initiatives new to the campus. Among them was making campus-wide mail delivery easier, and holding departments accountable for outgoing mail services.

Lawton also led the process of changing photo ID cards from Polaroids to a card system with a computer database that included a magnetic strip that allowed cash purchases, building access, and other features, and she helped build training programs to implement the transition.

Before her retirement, Lawton worked to improve many more aspects of campus work life, including vehicle and facility reservations, printing services, and the campus copier program.

“Jana was in a tough position—implementing improvements across University Services that were not always welcome changes,” said retired staff member and Hall of Honor member Anne Russell. “However, she always conducted herself with civility, understanding, empathy, and encouragement.”

Lawton has long had a focus of helping young women within our community achieve their goals. She has been a member of the Chico branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) since 1988, serving in all leadership roles including president.

Through the AAUW, Lawton was involved in setting up an exploration day at Butte College for middle school girls to encourage interest in science and math careers. In her spare time, she partnered with campus faculty to develop a similar program, “Expanding Your Horizons,” at Chico State.

A talented artist herself, Lawton expanded opportunities for other artists through her longtime engagement with the Chico Art Center. Along with serving on the board, she and her husband, Dave, wrote a grant to purchase a rail car that, as a coffee shop, would provide a revenue stream to benefit the Art Center. Lawton also organized the popular Open Studios Art Tour for many years.

Portrait of Jana Lawton