In memoriam, Delaney Marchant: A Wildcat who overcame hardships and lived fearlessly


Photo courtesy of Marchant Family

Delaney Marchant posing for a profile picture.

Chico State graduate student Delaney Marchant died from COVID complications on April 28 at the age of 23. She was an ambitious soul who dreamt of becoming an art and design coordinator since she was a child. Delaney was born on Dec. 28, 1998, and was raised in the coastal city of San Clemente, Orange County.

She always had an artistic vision. As a child, her favorite pastime was creating new pieces of art from different materials she found in her family’s garage.  

“From the early days of her life until recently she would go out in the garage with her supplies and draw, make clay figures, create videos, paint, build things, and sew,” wrote Delaney’s family on a Facebook memorial page.

Delaney started her college career at University of California, Berkeley as a theater and performance major, and graduated in 2020 as summa cum laude. Her interests revolved around visual design and project coordination. She enrolled in Chico State’s online Master of Business program in 2021 with a focus on project management. Delaney sought to bridge her entertainment career with business knowledge.  

Despite being a woman of many talents, Delaney faced serious obstacles. During her senior year of high school, she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a chronic inflammatory bowel disease. For the next five years she was in and out of hospitals, trying different medications and enduring complications. 

Delaney spent her college career learning, leading and touching the hearts of those who met her. She had accepted an offer for her dream job at Laika, a film animation studio, as an art and design coordinator. She was set to start in May 2022. 

“She was always a leader, whether organically, elected, or just being ‘bossy girl’ to get things done,” according to Delaney’s memorial page. “She also loved ‘teaching.’ If she could guide someone that was struggling, she was always there.”

Delaney had many leadership roles. On several occasions she captained a team for the annual Relay for Life. Her leadership endeavors extended to her hobbies as well. After attaining her second-degree blackbelt in Taekwondo, she worked as an instructor at Taekwondojang in San Juan Capistrano. She also assisted with the GRIP program, an organization that works to reduce youth involvement in gang-related activity. 

“Delaney held many jobs that motivated her, in and outside of entertainment,” according to her memorial page. “From Stage Manager at UC Berkeley, Laguna Playhouse, and Saddleback College, to an internship with Paramount Pictures.”

She also had a soft spot for animals, working as a certified American Kennel Club dog trainer at Petco for about a year.

“Animal lover is an understatement for Delaney,” according to her memorial page. “She loved all critters, and always had some form of fish, lizard, tortoise, or dog in her life.”

The university will lower its flag on May 23 in her memory, and a celebration of life will be held on June 4 from 1–3 p.m. at the Casino San Clemente.

Delany Marchant is survived by her parents, Bob and Kathy Marchant; sister, Kasey; her two grandmothers, Jean Peloquin and Laurie Meehan and extended family.   

Noah Herbst and Melvin Bui can be reached at [email protected] or @NoahHerbst13 and @MelvinBuii on Twitter.