June 16, 2024

California Baptist University student Colden Styles Davis died Thursday, Jan. 22, at the age of 20. He is remembered by his parents, younger brother and campus community.

Davis, sophomore political science major, was described by those close to him as someone who was passionate, brilliant, humble and a great friend.

He was a high school tri-athlete from Porter Ranch, Calif., who originally came to CBU as a pre-med biology major. He later switched his major to political science. Davis’ goal after finishing college was to become a lawyer.

Bruno Leonardo, sophomore biomedical science major, said he and Davis instantly clicked when they first met. His relaxed, laid-back demeanor made him easy to befriend.

“Colden was never what you expected. He knew he had to work for what he wanted and did everything with such passion,” Leonardo said. “The biggest thing is to remember him well, and whenever he comes up — don’t be sad. Make sure he puts a smile on your face.”

Although Davis was known as a private person, his friends said he never failed to bright- en the mood of any room he entered. Davis’ enthusiasm for video games and anime set him apart among his friends.

His friends said he showed passion in everything he did and called him a “political sci- ence genius.” Every story about Davis was relayed with a smile.

Brock Mickley, sophomore business administration major, said it was always easy to talk to Davis and that he approached the situation with happiness.

“That will probably be one of the things I will miss the most — his positivity in every conversation,” Mickley said. “He was a simple man: His life was school, video games, eat and sleep. The only way we could pull him out of that was through basketball.”

Former classmate Denise Rivera, sophomore political science major, remembered Davis as a friendly, outgoing person who left an impression on her life.

“It’s hard going to class and seeing his chair empty. Political science as a major is small; you get to know the people around you. It’s a community. He always smiled at everyone, always said,‘Hi,’”Rivera said. “He encouraged the people around him and made us want to be better people.”

Rivera acknowledged it can be difficult to understand and accept tragic events. She said when facing different tribulations, it is vital to have a support system. Without that, she said, life can seem dreary. The university provides resources to those looking for help coping with loss.

“No one is alone, even when they feel that they are,” said Dr. John Montgomery, dean of Spiritual Life. “It is important for students to know that the CBU Counseling Center is a great resource to help process grief. Also, any student who might be struggling deeply with any issue should reach out to the Counseling Center, Spiritual Life, a staff member, a faculty member or a peer.”

A memorial service and basketball tournament were held Feb. 7 in the Recreation Center to honor Davis’ life.

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