From My Point of View: Payton Martin '20


Payton Martin was the recipient of the Harold and Violet Knott Endowed Scholarship, one of many scholarships established by generous Bushnell friends and families in support of Christ-centered higher education.

"I saw the value Bushnell offers that I couldn't get at any other school: personalized guidance and wisdom from someone as smart and helpful as Dr. Wilmarth."

I left my hometown of Wasilla, Alaska and came to Bushnell in 2017 for the opportunity to play college basketball. What I found, though, was a school and community with so much more to offer.

It was during my first semester in a class on Differential Equations that Dr. Connie Wilmarth introduced me to the subject of Quantitative Finance. This set me on my current path—I'm headed to Ithaca, New York, next fall to pursue a master's degree in Financial Engineering at Cornell University.

The academic success and experience I had these past four years have only been possible because I chose to attend Bushnell as opposed to a large research university. I took a few high-level mathematics courses across the street at the U of O, and one thing became apparent to me very quickly. Although I was surrounded by students whom I believe had much more talent, they did not have access to the same resources that led to my achievements. I undoubtedly have Dr. Wilmarth and the faculty at Bushnell to thank for that.

However, the aspects that make Bushnell special do not only concern academics. I also spent two years serving as a Resident Assistant for the Office of Student Life. It was during my time in this position that saw the unique community this college has built. Bushnell is a place where people of different races, cultures, interests, and backgrounds truly find community. I have witnessed complete strangers take the time to understand and care for each other.

Participating in this community led me to realize that wisdom, faith, and service are not just words on the wall, or ideals to which we give lip service. They are the pillars on which our community stands. This is where the future of Bushnell must be firmly rooted. It is the experiences gained from this Christ-centered community that will most enrich the lives of students long after graduation.