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Jackson Bandy arms crossed outside

Jackson Bandy ’27 (Groveport, Ohio) fell in love with Marietta College while still a freshman at Groveport Madison High School. His desire to become a Pioneer continued to grow throughout high school because everything Jackson wanted in a college experience was being offered at MC.

“I first heard of Marietta during a college fair held at my high school, before I’d even really started looking at colleges,” he said. “Even then, all of the statistics were ones that matched up with exactly what I wanted from my college experience — a smaller school with smaller class sizes allowing for more individualized instruction, student organizations that lined up with my interests, and a quiet, homey campus that distance-wise was just far enough away that I would get the chance to be my own person while still being close enough to home that I could go back if necessary.”

Jackson joined PioNation this fall as the 24th recipient of the John G. and Jeanne B. McCoy Scholarship, which includes tuition, fees, room, board, and is renewable for four years.

“When it came down to it, Marietta had everything I wanted — and more — while still being less expensive than other colleges that had expressed interest in me,” Jackson said.

He was “astonished” to learn he had earned the McCoy Scholarship.

“My Premier Scholar’s Day didn’t exactly go as according to plan; I hadn’t received the article we were supposed to have read beforehand because of a technical error, and it was an incredibly nerve-wracking experience to realize that I had a disadvantage going into the selection process,” Jackson said. “Driving home afterward, I kept trying to remind myself that I’d done the best I could under the circumstances I had, but I couldn’t shake the self-doubt, thinking that I’d already lost something so important due to an issue that hadn’t been my fault.”

Almost immediately, Jackson has discovered multiple ways to get involved.

“I’ve already joined Marietta's Wind Ensemble and Concert Choir, and I also plan to be involved with theatre productions and the rowing team,” he said. “The arts have always meant the world to me, and it was part of the plan to continue my artistic journey in college, regardless of my major. Rowing, however, was a surprise to me. I was never really a sports kid until I got here, but it’s already ushered in a new sense of personal development to my life that I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.”

Jackson is majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Leadership, and he plans to add a second minor in the future.

“My major came somewhat logically to me — I’ve found that I already think like computers do. ‘If this, then that,’ is how I approach decisions of any kind, and I’ve always been fascinated by technology and how it came to be,” he said. “The fact that human beings were persistent enough to make something as complicated as computers work and figure out how to tell them what to do in so many different settings is absolutely awe-inspiring to me. I appreciate how much technology has done for our daily lives, making information and communication across so many walks of life more accessible than ever before.”

Despite his practical approach to life and selecting a major, Jackson also has altruistic thoughts about how he plans to approach college and his future.

“I still insist that helping others is important and should be done at every possible opportunity,” Jackson said. “I believe computers, as incredible as their capabilities already are, have plenty of room to develop, and that technology can and should be used to aid humanity, driving our natural persistence and curiosity further and further by making our world more sustainable and navigable. These tenets are what drive me as a person, and what inspired me to choose my major above all else.”

For now, though, Jackson is settling into college life and enjoying the time for personal growth.

“I’ve always been excited to be able to go off to college and truly figure out who I am as a person — and then develop myself from there,” Bandy said. “I’m sure I’ll be able to here, especially because self-discovery and being a Pioneer — in whatever way you see fit — are quintessential parts of the Marietta College experience.”