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1812 Leadership Scholar

Jackson Graves ’16

As Jackson began considering colleges, he remembers “being struck by the concept of an open curriculum and impressed by Hamilton’s emphasis on the written word.” Following a college road trip that concluded on the Hill Jackson notes, “The deal was sealed as I walked around campus and imagined my future here. I loved the atmosphere and loyalty of current students and haven’t looked back since.”

With a proposed major in philosophy and minors in history and government, Jackson has made the most of his studies. “In exploring the broad spectrum of Hamilton’s academics, I have found myself learning how to learn.” Through this process, he has been “enabled to face the real world’s host of unforeseen hurdles, understanding how to size-up, approach and address each one. … I have discovered, both inside and outside the classroom that a healthy dose of patience and honest evaluation will always lead to greater clarity and, perhaps, another step in the right direction.”

Following his first year in 2010-11, Jackson took time away from his studies to volunteer as a missionary in Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland. When he returned to the Hill in fall 2013, it was with a fresh perspective on his education “rooted in the principles I found during my service. I lived and worked with many who had fallen prey to various forms of hardship and injustice. My career plans draw upon my desire to provide relief to such people, that I might be a voice for those who have none.” Jackson plans to participate in Columbia University’s AILE program, which will allow him to complete his B.A. at Hamilton and J.D. at Columbia within six years. Ultimately, he intends to practice law in the public sector.

Beyond his studies, Jackson enjoys outdoor adventures and old movies. He serves on the Executive Board for the Hamilton Association for Volunteering, Outreach and Charity (HAVOC) and is involved in the Hamilton All-Beliefs Union. Additionally, he volunteers as a youth leader and teacher in the Utica area.

Of those who so generously support Hamilton, Jackson notes “My background gave me drive and perspective. Nonetheless, financial stricture narrowed the possible horizons. To the College’s many donors, I say ‘thank you’ for pairing my desires with opportunity and prospect.”

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