Bryan Punter: From Parties to Frankenstein

Bryan Jan Punter loves a well written sentence. He loves books, well written books, like Moby Dick and Frankenstein. But before he fell in love with books—and his wife Deb—Bryan loved partying.

Punter grew up in Allendale, Michigan, where his parents own a turkey farm. He remembers going out as a young boy and working for a nickel an hour. Punter has two siblings by birth, and three more that his family took in as foreign exchange students. They are not officially adopted or even fostered by the Punters, but Bryan speaks affectionately of them, especially, of Vaan Huynh (senior at Providence).

He grew up in a Christian home, but by high school he quickly became “a rebel without a cause” as he put it. Punter still holds the record for the most Saturday schools at his high school as a punishment for missing a certain number of classes per week. Besides busily shirking school work, he enjoyed partying.

When he was 20, Punter played the “the most dangerous eight seconds in sports”-bull riding. The most basic rule of bull riding is that if you stay on for eight seconds you “win” but that’s only half the battle. After getting bucked off the bull you have to exit the pen. Well, Punter with his extremely long legs hugged the bull as tight as he could and rode the bull for the full eight seconds. In the pen, there are other people to distract the bull once the rider is bucked, but this bull had his horns set straight on Bryan. After scrambling to his feet, he dashed to the wall and leapt out before the bull could get him.

After getting through high school, spending a short stint at a community college studying pre-vet, and surviving a bull ride, Bryan went back to the farm to work. It was during this year of working for his father that Punter came to faith.

He then realized that he wanted to go to a college that taught the Bible. His pastor told Punter about Providence and a week before classes started in August 2009, Bryan enrolled. All he knew about Providence was that it taught straight from scripture and it was in California.

It was at Providence that Punter developed a love for books, a well written sentence, and Deb (Providence alumna). He found so much hidden within the pages of a book that he did not see before, and upon discovering this, there was no stopping him. When Punter read Frankenstein, he lay awake for hours completely enthralled in the pages, unable to sleep until he finished the last page. Part of his desire to read came from feeling that he needed to make up for lost time in high school.

Now Bryan is a “deeply insightful person” as Jacob Fischer commented. “He is an exemplary student and is well-respected in the classroom and in his relationships with the students, faculty and staff.”

After graduation, Bryan is looking forward to seminary, though he has not chosen which one to attend yet. Eventually he hopes to go into the ministry in some way, perhaps in a pastoral position or in some other capacity. His love of books and words and learning is sure to follow and aid him as he graduates from Providence this spring and moves on to new places.