Giving to Chico State

Nicole Williams

Manager of Foundation Relations and Campaign Communications

Nicole Williams plays a hybrid role, writing and managing the development of the University's fundraising communications and working with development directors to engage corporate and foundation partners in supporting programs across campus. 

She creates and coordinates the production of various online, print, and multimedia materials that tell the story of philanthropy at Chico State. Among these is the award-winning University Foundation Annual Report, which highlights the impact of giving on students, faculty, staff, and local communities.

Previously, she wrote a weekly column for The Sacramento Bee and evaluated student affairs programs at Stanford University. She is a proud 2009 journalism alumna and former editor of The Orion and holds a master's in social policy and evaluation from the University of Michigan School of Social Work.

About Me

Who is your hero?

My little brother Adam (who I suppose isn't very little anymore!). Brene Brown, another hero of mine, challenges each of us to live our lives courageously, authentically, and vulnerably. I am so proud of Adam, who digs deep to live his life this way every day. 

What motivates you to do this work?

I want to inspire people to change the world. This work allows me to do that. 

Why do you give to Chico State?

Because Chico State, my professors, and fellow students gave so much to me. 

I graduated in 2009 and was notified that, due to drastic funding cuts, the only way I could keep my summer internship at The Sacramento Bee was if I secured my own funding. Hearing this, two of my professors established an award to make my dream possible. I owe so much to their generosity.

Today, I give to NSPR, the Chico State Fund, and the Chico Cares fund to support students struggling with housing and food insecurity. 

What Chico State program had the biggest impact on you?

The Associated Students Women's Center (now the Gender and Sexuality Equity Center).

I still get emotional thinking of my first volunteer meeting. In an instant, this community showed me that I mattered. I truly have no idea where I would be without the women I met, the lessons I learned, and the support I continue to have in fighting gender-based violence and oppression in all its forms. 

What’s your favorite Chico restaurant?

Tough call! I love a good brunch date, so I'd say The Roost or Cafe Coda.

Favorite thing to do at Bidwell Park?

Go for a dip at Bear Hole in the quieter, hotter months of July and August. The sight of the sun on the basalt rocks never ceases to amaze me. 

What was your first job?

Sandwich maker extraordinaire at Quizno's

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Dad's spaghetti with meat sauce

What’s your proudest accomplishment so far?

Completing the 570-mile Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in 2014

What would you sing at Karaoke night?

"I've Got Friends in Low Places" by Garth Brooks

What is the best gift you’ve ever received?

An education

If you were a super hero, what powers would you have?

Healing people

Is there anything you wished would come back into fashion?

The side ponytail (which I still rock anyway!) 

What’s the farthest place you’ve traveled?

Australia/New Zealand