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Divenson Willis ’24

Creating a Memorable Student Experience

photo of Divenson Willis.

Posted on 03.04.24 by Mariah Johnston '25 in School of Business, Athletics

Divenson Willis ’24 came to Linfield University from the small town of North Bend. The coastal community boasts a population of just over 9,000 people. Divenson took advantage of the opportunities a small school afforded him, earning 11 letters in football, swimming, wrestling and track and field. When it was time to look for colleges, Divenson wanted one that let him continue to be just as active. 

“The biggest reason that I came to Linfield is because of the classroom sizes and the ability to connect with people,” Divenson said. “It’s allowed me to do so much more than at a different or bigger school.” 

Divenson holds multiple leadership roles at Linfield and is deeply involved in student life. He competes on the wrestling team and serves as president of the Black Student Union (BSU) and vice president of student events for the Wildcat Events Board (WEB). By leading so many campus groups, he has had a meaningful affect on creating and enhancing the community around him.

Elevating the student experience 

As vice president of WEB, Divenson plans and executes various events each year to encourage student involvement in the Linfield community. This includes bringing food trucks to campus, putting on Wildstock (the annual end-of-the-year concert), comedy shows, white water rafting trips, and even professional sporting events in Portand.

“We are using student dollars, so we want to use them purposely to make students’ experience at college better,” Divenson said.

Fostering diversity and inclusion 

photo of divenson at the black wall street event.

When he’s not organizing events with WEB, Divenson helps run Linfield's BSU. As the president of the student club, he spearheads initiatives that celebrate cultural heritage and foster a sense of belonging.  

In February, Divenson organized events to celebrate Black History Month: a slam poetry night, a discussion on banned books by Carmen Thompson, the second annual Black Wall Street Market and a screening of the movie “The Color Purple.”

But, BSU events occur all year long, not just during Black History Month. Throughout the year, BSU secures food trucks to visit campus and organizes special guest speakers and performers. 

“The purpose of Black Student Union is to bring people together and have a good time together,” Divenson said. “Each of us has our own story and different experiences. We are able to resonate with each other because we've had those shared experiences. Our group knows they have a place to go.” 


As Divenson approaches the end of his senior year and he reflects on his time at Linfield, he feels that it has provided him with experiences he wouldn’t have received anywhere else.  

It’s something he encourages future Wildcats to take advantage of.  

“Your experience is what you make it,” Divenson said. “Take that risk and get outside your comfort zone. It’s easy to be complacent. Create those opportunities for yourself.”