Changemakers

“Chico State gave me a huge gift, so it’s my duty, my honor, my responsibility, to help Chico State.”

Dennis Murphy (’94)

Dennis is the CEO of Oregon–based Hayden Homes and says his time in the lab made his education come alive. He is investing in civil engineering faculty, because he credits his success to his outstanding professors. He also collaborated with industry partners to transform an outdated concrete lab into an open, state–of–the–art learning space that allows students across majors to collaborate on real–world projects.

It doesn’t take a lot for each of us to work together and make a difference and help someone have an education here and share the experiences that we had when we were at Chico State, he said.

See how Dennis teamed up with Chico State’s Concrete Industry Management Patrons to fund a $600,000 lab renovation for students in the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management.

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Dan Giustina

Dan Giustina

Dan Giustina owns the Oregon–based timber product company Giustina Resources and endowed the Bell Family Presidential Scholarship in memory of his second family—Tom Bell, who owned the 16,000–acre Bell Ranch in Butte County, and his wife, Dorothy Bell, and sisters Claudine Bell and Helen Head.

If somebody gave you the opportunity to learn and reach your full potential, it’s your responsibility to provide that opportunity to others, said Dan, who travels to Chico each year to meet one–on–one with each of the Bell scholars.

The Bell Family Presidential Scholarship is the University’s largest scholarship endowment, awarding academically talented and service–minded agriculture students $5,000 per year for four years.

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Glen Thomas (’83) and Joyce Densmore–Thomas (’82)

Glen Thomas and Joyce Densmore-Thomas

When asked why they joined the Tower Society and endowed a faculty fellowship for accounting professors in the College of Business, Glen and Joyce said, We can connect all the good in our life back to Chico State—each other, our successful careers, our closest friends, and now our son’s journey.

For Glen, who is a founder and partner at the Bay Area accounting firm TYS, LLP, and Joyce, who is the vice principal at Cambridge Elementary School in Concord, it was the relationships they developed at Chico State that mattered most.

Deeply caring professors who guided our development, programs that provided structure and opportunity, and an unforgettable community, allowed us to grow into our own, said the Chico State parents, whose son Niels is also studying accounting. The students today, including our son, receive more than just academic experience—they evolve into well–rounded citizens that know and desire their place in the world.

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Tom Villa (’82) and Karyl Villa

Tom and Karyl Villa

Karyl has always been surrounded by Wildcats—her husband Tom and their son Paul (’16) and her sisters. Joining the Tower Society and investing in the future of the College of Business allows the Villas to live out their values.

We want to live our lives paying it forward, Tom and Karyl said. Not just to benefit our own children but every student who wants an education.

Tom is the director of business development and content for Verizon Communications, Inc. and also serves on the University Foundation Board of Governors and the College of Business Advisory board, which allow him to take an active role in promoting technology–driven education and real–world opportunities for tomorrow’s leaders.

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University Foundation Board of Governors Development Committee

Marcia Moore

Marcia Moore, MD

Development Committee Chair
Stuart Casillas

Stuart Casillas (’96)

University Foundation Board Chair
Robin Gayle

Robin Gayle, PhD, MFT (’80)

Jay Gilbert

Jay Gilbert (’69)

Dave Hodson

David Hodson (’90, ’92)

Rand Hutchison

Rand Hutchison (’73, ’77)

Tom Martin

Tom Martin (’66)

Chuck Nelsen

Chuck Nelsen (’89)

Mike Prime

Mike Prime

Marilyn Rees

Marilyn Rees (’81, ’82, ’00)

Darryl Schoen

Darryl Schoen (’77)

Dave Scotto

David Scotto (’89)