Discovering Faculty Stories

by Deb Shaw

This past semester I interviewed and recorded oral histories of some very interesting local residents for my internship. I also had the pleasure of conducting two interviews with our Latin American Studies professor, Dr. John Diviney.

Dr. John Diviney in his Kenan Hall office.

Dr. John Diviney in his Kenan Hall office.

Dr. Diviney is one of the most interesting people I have ever met and his history is so fascinating, it took two one-hour interviews to capture things he has done in his life. Dr. Diviney was commissioned as a second lieutenant out of Fort Benning, Georgia 25 September 1973. From there he was sent to the jungles of Panama because he spoke Spanish. He has tales from the jungles and tales from the Amazon and also tales of teaching the Columbian government how to fight the FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia–People’s Army).

Dr. Diviney speaks so eloquently and is so funny. Today, he looks like a sweet middle age man yet in 1973 his pictures are of a big handsome soldier. He told me that when he was training some smaller men he would push them out of the airplane and he would jump last, but because he was so much bigger he would land first. Dr. Diviney’s real adventures make the fictional Indiana Jones’ adventures pale in comparison. Picture a young Special Forces soldier who likes to collect butterflies and has given so much to his country. This man loves his country, loves his teaching at Flagler College, and most importantly he has a great love of family. If you want to see his face light up just mention the love of his life, his little granddaughter Kaylee. It has been such an honor to get to know him and a gift to learn from him.

One of Diviney's many framed butterflies.

One of Diviney’s many framed butterflies.

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