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Call It Fate? Jason Earnhardt Found His Place at New England College

Jason Earnhardt ’21 had no intention of going to college in New England. He was just fine with the choices in his home state: North Carolina. Then he came to visit. The place seemed eerily familiar. “Admissions offices at other schools felt like doctors’ offices staffed by grumpy librarians.” Study abroad at no extra charge was appealing, sure. Dinner at the President’s house—nice. And Jason was inspired by a visit to the Political Science department. But something else was happening. While Jason knew that his family came from New England, he came to NEC not knowing the full extent of his historic connection to the College and the town.

His ancestors, he learned, were some of the earliest settlers in Henniker in the 1700s. Olivier Daniels, born around 1889 according to census records, was Jason’s great, great grandfather. He lived in Henniker with his wife Florence, directed traffic, and was a part-time police officer. Jason’s grandfather (born in 1937), police chief in Hopkinton was, at age 22, the youngest police chief in the U.S. He rose to sheriff and was appointed to the Department of Justice by President Reagan in 1981.

Jason, a Political Science major at NEC, serves as President of the Student Senate, Secretary of CiviCorps, and a Student Ambassador. This spring, he traveled to Brussels to study regional politics as part of NEC’s Study Away program that offers worldwide learning experiences at no extra cost. He plans to pursue an MA in Public Policy at NEC before heading straight to Capitol Hill. Until then, as a Student Ambassador, Jason can often be found greeting prospective students in the front room of the Admission office.