David Bunting (B.A. ’12) is a third generation Florida College Falcon and member of Arete. His grandparents met during their time at Florida College, and his parents started dating while they were at Florida College as well. Both his grandmother and his father were members of Arete while they attend Florida College, and Bunting followed in their footsteps.
“I always kind of expected to go to Florida College growing up,” Bunting said.
But it wasn’t his family’s legacy on campus that really sealed the deal for Bunting. He participated in a state college program after his sophomore year in high school, spending five weeks on a college campus taking college classes.
“That experience was very helpful for me,” Bunting said. “It was the first time that I wasn’t around Christians very much, and it taught me the value of being around Christians in an academic setting.”
Bunting has always been very academically focused, but his time in the program made him realize that there is much more to a college experience than just the academics.
“Academics are not everything, and without people academics don’t really serve a purpose,” Bunting said.
Florida College provided Bunting with the education he was looking for surrounded by Christians who shared his values. Thanks to the college’s smaller classes, Bunting had the opportunity to build relationships with his peers and professors in the liberal studies program, as he studied components in mathematics, biblical languages and biblical literature.
“One of the things you do get at Florida College as a four-year graduate are much smaller classes,” Bunting said. “Having a teacher really know you is a very invaluable thing. Interacting in a very small group setting helped me get to know several of my professors.”
Tom Hamilton was one of the professors who had the greatest impact on Bunting, and Bunting chose to honor him with his coin at the Senior Legacy Ceremony as a result.
“In short, he truly helped me to understand what it meant to be a Christian,” Bunting said. “While being an incredibly intelligent person, he is incredibly humble and incredibly giving. He radically changed my perspective on what it meant to be a Christian.”
Bunting is using the things he learned from Hamilton and so many others at Florida College as he works as a full-time preacher in Rochester, Minnesota. Although he has also earned a master’s degree in mathematics since graduating from Florida College, Bunting plans to continue preaching.
“Any time you are working in the kingdom, you are going to have days that are very encouraging and discouraging,” Bunting said. “When I think of preaching, I think of getting to know people and getting to know their struggles and figuring out how I can help them and equip them to come to know God more. I realized I wouldn’t be happy if I wasn’t doing that.”
It was Bunting’s Florida College connections that led him to Minnesota, and he’s finding ways to stay connected to the college even though he is far from the campus. He is currently serving as the president of the Northland chapter of The Hutchinson Bell and is actively involved with the Florida College Northland Camp. Bunting also attended the annual lectureship the last two years and has remained connected through friends and family in the Florida College area.
As he continues to be involved with Florida College, Bunting recognizes that the relationships he has built are the most meaningful part of his experience.
“It all comes back to the people,” Bunting said. “That you are just not going to get anywhere else.”