Giving to Chico State

Steven Loya

Assistant Manager—Phonathon/Annual Giving

Steven Loya started his career in University Advancement in 2010 as a student caller at the Chico State Calling Center. He now serves as the Phonathon Assistant Manager, overseeing pledge drives for the Chico State Fund and the phonathon program. He manages a group of passionate student callers who annually talk to more alumni, parents, and friends than all other entities on campus combined. He also oversees student giving and engagement on campus and serves as an advisor to the newly established Chico State Student Philanthropy Council, which won the prestigious Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District VII Silver Award of Excellence in its inaugural year. Steven is passionate about supporting higher education so all deserving students can have access to an affordable education.

Music is also a passion for him. He currently studies music education at Chico State, specializing in clarinet performance, and has been a classically-trained musician for over 20 years. Studying under renowned educators and musicians, including John Abigana, Russel Burnham, and Royce Tevis, Steven has performed with the Chico State Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Jazz Band, Pep Band, and other small ensembles and has received various awards, including the John Philip Sousa Band Award and the United States Marines Semper Fidelis Award for Musical Excellence.

As a student, Steven was a co-founder of the Pi-Iota chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity and currently serves as the organization’s staff advisor. As Vice President of the Inter-Fraternity Council, he organized Chico State’s first hazing awareness week, earning the prestigious Hank Nuwer Anti-Hazing Hero Award. He was also awarded the American Legion Award for Excellence in Academics and Leadership and earned the BACCHUS Network Certified Peer Educator Certificate. 

Steven is a current member of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the National Association for Music Education (NAFME), the Butte Environmental Council (BEC), and the Chico State Wind Ensemble. Within these organizations, he actively participates in clinics, performances, conferences, and volunteer activities.

About Me

Who is your hero?

I have two heroes. They go by Mom and Dad. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the love and support from my parents and my family. My dad has been working hard his entire life to support myself and my brothers. My mom had children at a young age and dropped out of high school to raise us. Once we were older, she returned to school to not only get her GED but her bachelor's and her master’s degrees as well. My parents have shown me the importance of hard work and an education.

What motivates you to do this work/What’s your favorite part of your job?

I truly believe that EVERY single problem facing our society can be solved by investing in education. When you invest in education, you invest in our students. When you invest in our students, you invest in the leaders of tomorrow. Those individuals who will go on to become doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, scientists, politicians, and more. These bright young individuals who will go on to shape the future are our best hope for a brighter tomorrow, and I believe it’s our duty to do all we can as a society to make sure they have all the resources and opportunities to do just that.

Our students are the reason I am so passionate about the work that I do, and they drive me to be better than I was yesterday every single day.

Why do you give to Chico State?

I give back to Chico State because I have come to realize that this little town and our beautiful campus has had a tremendous impact not only on my life but on thousands of lives all over the world.

Not only have I had amazing professors, I have made lifelong friends and have gained invaluable experienceall that will last a lifetime. Chico State has done more than give me an education, it has helped me discover who I am and, for that, I am forever grateful. I will always give back to this special place, and Chico will always have a place in my heart. Giving back is also more than just giving money. On top of giving back financially to the Chico State Fund and the Department of Music Department where I study, I also volunteer my time as an advisor for two student programs on campus: the Student Philanthropy Council and the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. They are all amazing young leaders and working with them is always the highlight of my day.

What Chico State professor, staff member, or program had the biggest impact on you?

Royce Tevis, director of bands at Chico State, has had a huge impact on my life. He is the reason I initially chose to come to Chico State. He is one of the best educators I have ever studied under. He is passionate about making sure his students are successful and become the best version of themselves. Like most people, there was a time in my life where I was going through a rough patch. Dr. Tevis was there for me and his advice got me through many life circumstances that I may not have been able to navigate alone. Our faculty and staff and Chico State truly care about their students, and Dr. Tevis is a shining example of that. Thank you, Dr. T!!!

Do you have a personal motto or favorite quote?

"A CFO turns to his CEO and says: Sir, what happens if we invest all of this time, money, and energy into these employees and they leave? The CEO turns to his CFO and says, what happens if we don’t and they stay?"
—Unknown Author

This quote has always resonated with me and has become a part of my personal philosophy. I am a big believer in investing in the people in your life you care about, both personally and professionally. I always strive to create an environment for our student callers and philanthropy council ambassadors, so they know they are cared about and that they aren’t just a number. This is the biggest reason why we have been successful in our endeavors. We are truly a big family here.

What's your favorite holiday?

Although I’m a December baby and I love birthdays and Christmas, Thanksgiving is hands down the best day of the year. I can sit around all day, stuff my face with unlimited food, and nap. Then wake up the next morning for leftovers and it all starts again, for at least another day. Does it really get much better than that?