Chico State president bids farewell


Students, faculty, community members and friends were able to celebrate President Zingg’s retirement on May 6. Photo credit: George Johnston

Kayla Fitzgerald

After many accomplishments and 13 years of service, Chico State president Paul Zingg is bidding farewell.

On May 6, the community and university organized a retirement party on campus for Zingg.

Students, faculty, community members and friends gathered to honor Zingg at his baseball-themed party. They offered a variety of foods, including ice cream and cracker jacks. Many games, such as Connect Four and Jenga, were also provided.

Attendees had the opportunity to sign scrapbook cards, make thank you videos, take pictures and speak with President Zingg. The event also featured live entertainment and an interactive photo booth.

“Paul has presided over a time of many great changes,” said Sarah Deforest, College of Agriculture staff member.

The event showcased Zingg’s accomplishments in a slide show, video tribute and a speech from the president himself.

“I have had so many celebrations lately; I just wanted something laid back, fun and open to everyone,” Zingg said.

Throughout his time at Chico State, Zingg accomplished many things. Among those are the renovations of Sutter Hall, the Wildcat Recreation Center and the newest addition of the arts and humanities building.

Aside from accomplishments in campus infrastructure, Zingg also made great strides to improve Chico State’s reputation.

In his speech, Zingg said when he was appointed president in November 2003, Chico State was on the borderline of being named the No. 1 party school in the country. He worked to better that reputation during his years as president.

“Many challenges approached in trying to develop a different narrative,” Zingg said.

Since 2003, Chico State has not received a spot on the “party school” list in Playboy magazine.

“Since President Zingg has been here, the ‘party school’ reputation has decreased immensely,” said Brenda Castellanos, senior liberal studies major. “It’s great to see everyone here supporting him in his retirement.”

Other accomplishments include raising donor support, receiving the community engagement institution award, and increasing degree and completion rates.

During his speech, Zingg discussed his experiences working in higher education and shared personal stories that inspired him. He stressed the greatness of the values in community and service that both Chico State and the larger community exemplify.

“I know that the future is incredibly bright for this university,” Zingg said. “It has been my honor and great privilege in my life’s career to be a part of this Chico story.”

Kayla Fitzgerald can be reached at [email protected] or@kaylafitz_20 on Twitter.