Giving to Chico State

Lise Smith-Peters

Director of Development—Behavioral and Social Sciences

As development director, Lise Smith-Peters assists Chico State's central advancement team in meeting the strategic goals of the University by managing the development efforts of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. She also works closely with the University Foundation and the alumni affairs in promoting the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences and serves as its liaison to the vice president for university advancement. Lise comes to the college from her previous position of Park Services Coordinator for the City of Chico Park Division and prior to that she served as development director for Boys and Girls Clubs of the North Valley. Most of her professional career has focused on fundraising for nonprofits

Lise earned her BA in political science and minor in marketing from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth and her MA in political science from Tulane University in New Orleans. She sits on Chico State boards for the Community Volunteers in Education and the Chico State Parents Advisory Council, and the community boards for Friends of Bidwell Park and the Butte Sailing Club. Lise is an avid sailor, gardener, and enjoys time with her two children, Will and Marley, both Chico State alumni.

About Me

A fun fact . . . 

I have a 19-foot sailboat (Flying Scot) that I enjoy taking out on the Oroville forebay and lake and Black Butte Lake. I recently raced her (and will not report what place I got!), and I may decide to take it up again (I raced competitively from age eight until my early 30s and do so on visits to Texas). My eldest brother races every weekend in Fort Worth and so did my dadso it runs in the family!

What motivates you to do this work?

What motivates me the most is seeing hardworking students succeed and knowing that they are being guided by accomplished and caring professors. I think most of us remember a specific professor who helped make a difference in our lives. Chico State offers smaller classes so our students have the benefit of really interacting with and knowing their professors, which is an amazing support especially when you are away from your family.   

A favorite part of my job is introducing students to our supporters, who have helped them through a scholarship/award or by funding a program that the student benefitted from directly. We are here to ready and help launch our students into the next phase of their livesa successful career. 

It is a pleasure to meet and engage with our alumni and learn their stories of how Chico State helped get them started, too.

Why do you give to Chico State?

I give to the Community Legal Information Center (CLIC is a legal studies internship program) because I have used their services when I needed legal information and could not afford a lawyer. Now, I am proud to say that my daughter is an intern with CLIC and is getting so much out of the experience and plans to go on to law school. CLIC really helps so many in need. Sally Anderson, who oversees the program, has shared clients’ feedback with me and it is so heartfelthow CLIC staff helped them during a tough point in life.

I also donate to NSPR because it is the best for getting up-to-date, unbiased news. This radio station also features so much of what is going on in the North Stateit is a must listen!

I also support the Museum of Anthropology (MOA). I worked at a museum in Texas and have always loved museums. Chico State’s anthropology museology program is so unique, giving students hands-on experience putting together exhibits and conducting research. The MOA puts on amazing cultural exhibits and is free to the community and school classes. It is a win-win for all!

What is your favorite thing to do in Bidwell Park? 

I live two blocks from Lower Bidwell so I am very lucky to walk daily with my dog, Rosalyn. I worked for the Chico Park Division as park services/volunteer coordinator for eight years, and I still absolutely enjoy studying the flora of the park and leading volunteers in weeding and restoring areas of the park. Being a volunteer leader to help the park is a favorite thing to do!

What is the best gift you have ever received? 

Well, I would have to say my two beautiful, healthy children, Will, 21, and Marley, 19. If I dare say, they have their mom’s sense of humor and both have been so successful here at Chico State (and before!). Will is off to Buffalo, New York and will be applying for graduate school there in psychology, and Marley is a legal studies major and the program director of Penal Law for CLIC. Life is very good! 

Who is your hero? 

My hero is Margaret Sanger, a nurse, and early women's rights activist of the early 1900s. She coined the term "birth control" and worked towards its legalization as well as increasing women’s access to health care for decades.

portrait of lise


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Butte Hall 745
California State University, Chico
Chico, CA 95929-0450