Honoring an Adventurous and Faithful Life

The Westmont community pays tribute to Nick Davis ’13, who died in a tragic motorcycle accident in January

Nick Davis (Photo by Mike Larsen Photography)

The start of spring semester brought sadness to campus. Nick Davis, a senior economics and business major from Pacific GroveCalif., died Jan. 8 in a solo motorcycle crash near Westmont’s lower entrance. At a chapel service the following day honoring Nick, President Gayle D. Beebe said, “The love and care already being poured out is a hallmark of our community. We need each other as we walk through this tragedy.”

Nick’s parents, Terry and Betsy Davis, appreciate the community’s support. “Nick loved it there and truly found his voice at Westmont—he blossomed spiritually, in friendships and in community,” Betsy says.

Terry spent his last day with his son playing golf at Pebble Beach. “We talked about his final semester at Westmont,” he says. “He was so excited to be back ‘home,’ as he called it, and finish strong. He enjoyed every day he was at Westmont, except maybe the days leading up to final exams. He made such great friends—they were all like brothers and sisters. He told me his professors were the best. He always thanked me for letting him choose where he was going to school.”

Nick built strong friendships. Derek Troya, a senior biology and Spanish major, says, “I will remember most Nick’s love for adventure,” he says. “We both loved adrenaline and adventure: high-speed Big Wheel races, hiking to the top of 100-foot-tall waterfalls, jumping off bridges, surfing and sleeping under the stars. He was committed to reading the Word daily and shared the love of Jesus through the way he loved his friends.”

Beka Meyer ’13 says her friendship with Nick grew during a spontaneous camping trip to Yosemite with Taylor Hoch, Cole Timm, Emily Engdahl and Anne Funk. “We got to know one another while we hiked Half Dome and Yosemite Falls,” she says. “It was one of my favorite four-day breaks and the beginning of an amazing friendship.” She recalls Nick’s love for life and sense of adventure, which involved camping, hiking and Potter’s Clay.

Beka says she most admired Nick’s faith. “He was a strong Christian man, always encouraging me in my faith and praying for me,” she says. “He continually encouraged me with things he was learning in his devotionals or classes. He was so consistent with his One-Year Bible and quietly read his Bible and devotional to start the day.”

Emily, a senior Spanish major, says, “Nick’s adventurous spirit is something I will always carry with me—along with his love for people and his sincerity. Nick had a way of making each person feel special and appreciated.”

Cole ’13 says Nick had an ability to bring a fun, casual, relaxed and enjoyable presence into any room. “He lived life with few worries and trusted that God would take care of him,” he says. “Nick valued his friendships more than anything. He was willing to do anything for his friends. He knew his priorities: Christ, family and friends.”

Anne, a senior communication studies and Spanish double major, says Nick was like a big brother and a reliable friend. “He was genuine, trustworthy and full of life,” she says. “He took risks and was never afraid to live his life to the fullest.”

Nick invited many of his friends to visit his home in Monterey. “He was the best tour guide, taking us to the aquarium and San Francisco,” says Cory Burns, a senior psychology major. “He knew where everything was and made sure every person got to see what they wanted to see. On a hike that included his mom, Nick dropped behind to encourage some of the slower members of the group and walk with us.

“Nick loved like Jesus—unconditionally —and he loved each person uniquely. I will especially remember Nick’s faith and how far he had come in the last four years.”

David Hammer, a senior business major, transferred to Westmont in 2010 and met Nick his first day on campus. “Nick was full of life and loved any sort of adventure,” David says. “He cared deeply about his community and was always a listening ear to those who needed it.” The two had a morning ritual of waking up and reading their Bibles together over a cup of coffee.

Kara Berge ’13 remembers his passion for soccer, his motorcycle and his friends. “When Nick returned from Potter’s Clay last spring, he shared with me the Bible verses that were on his heart,” Kara says. “He left me a note encouraging me on the day of a test and later followed up, asking about the important things in my life.”

The day he died, Nick attended the first session of his Theology and Economics of Wealth and Poverty course co-taught by Professor Helen Rhee. She asked students to fill out index cards answering questions about themselves. “One in particular leaped out at us,” Betsy says. “She asked about the students’ spiritual backgrounds and current state. Nick’s response was, ‘My faith now is stronger than it has ever been,’ a blessed assurance for us that our future with Nick is bigger than our past ever was.”

Terry says Nick was excited about Westmont, his friends, his family, his community and mostly about God. “I know that excitement is multiplied in Heaven where he is now,” he says. “I am sure that Nick is challenging all of us to be excited right now.”

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