David Linnevers '87 has always represented the underdogs. His advocacy and fight for the underrepresented student recently earned him The Joseph P. Allen Award by the Western Association of College Admissions Counselors. This award is presented to "an individual who has encouraged and supported traditionally underrepresented students in the transition from high school to college."
For over two decades, David has been an Admissions officer for some of Southern California's most prestigious schools. Originally from Southbury, CT, he moved to California in the early 1990s. At that time, he was a Pilot. However, he sought a career change and found himself at the Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena as the Manager of Communication Systems. He was responsible for supervising and training data entry and mailing staff and implementation of database systems.
His interest and natural talent in Admissions continued. In February 2000, he became the Associate Director of Admissions for Southern California University of Health Sciences. This was followed by positions at California State University, Los Angeles (Outreach, Advising and Retention Director) and California State University, Monterey Bay (Director of Admissions). Recently, he accepted a new position as the Director of Admissions at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
During his time at California State, he and his team increased applications by 150% from 6000 to 18,000. The enrollment has doubled from 4000 to 8000.
Throughout his career, he looked to build a diverse and inclusive student body at his schools. "I have met and connected with countless families and their communities," said David. "They have changed my life. Getting to know them has allowed me to look at their life situations in different ways."
David and his team aim to engage the students and make them feel welcome. Many of them are first generation college students. "We have developed many programs and partnered with other nonprofits to educate the parents....You have to listen to the people that you are trying to recruit to be effective. What do they want? What are their goals?"
He explains that he was "pretty blown away by the Joseph P. Allen Award. I was incredibly honored and humbled. I still can't believe it."
David looks back fondly at his Holy Cross High School experience. He was active on the LAX, Soccer and Ski teams. "I loved the faculty," he said. "They were just outstanding. You really learned how to be a professional. Thanks to the rigor of the Holy Cross curriculum and the high expectations set by the faculty, college was easy for me. I wanted to go to a school where people would challenge me and make me grow. That has been something that I applied to my life."