Hall Hammond has raised more than $2 million for Alamo colleges since 2010, resulting in countless students receiving scholarships, thus changing the course of their lives and the future of their families.
In recognition of Hammond’s years of distinguished service and support for students of Alamo Colleges and the Alamo Colleges Foundation, on November 17, 2021, the Board of Directors voted unanimously to award Hammond the title of Honorary Board Member. Mike Beldon, Chairman Emeritus, presented Hammond with an Honorary Medal to the Board Member of the Alamo College Foundation, in honor of him for outstanding service and dedication over more than a decade.
Hammond’s commitment to the students of Alamo Colleges resulted from a serendipitous meeting with Roberto Zarate, Secretary of District 5, in 2010. This introduction led to personal visits to both colleges, with Hammond recalling being immediately impressed by the students, faculty, and administrators who welcomed him. He understood and embraced the unique value proposition offered by the five colleges within the Alamo Colleges District. Hammond wanted help. Later that year, he was invited to serve on the Board of Directors of the Alamo Colleges Foundation.
Hammond’s early impression of excellence at Alamo Colleges grew: “The one thing that makes me most excited about fundraising is knowing that wonderful people at every level support our students—the Board of Trustees, the Chancellor, the presidents, the distinguished faculty. Evidence of this can be seen in San Antonio College’s recent win of the 2021 Aspen Award as Best Community College in the State! When you go to these colleges, the facilities are great, the students are excited, and it’s a great experience!”
Upon joining the Board of Directors, Hammond embraced the institution’s mission “to advance the ability of Alamo Colleges to empower the diverse communities served by each of the Alamo colleges to achieve success.” He immediately embarked on the business of gathering friends and raising funds. Hammond, who was a brief English teacher before becoming a widely respected goldsmith in San Antonio, made his early commitment to raising funding for teachers at the Writing Center at San Antonio College. He soon looked for other ways to help students achieve their dream of a college education.
In foundation board meetings early in his tenure, Hammond heard frequent reports that there were more eligible applicants for scholarships than there were scholarships available. The idea of leaving qualified applicants empty-handed kept bothering him. He asked, “Who are these eligible students who are left empty-handed, and what is the impact of not receiving a scholarship on their lives? Who is left in line? A child just out of high school, a young mother, or perhaps a 40-year-old husband and father who wants changing career? “
These questions troubled him during his early years on the board of the Alamo Colleges Foundation. Now, more than a decade later, Hammond has introduced Alamo Colleges to new friends and raised more than $2 million, leading countless students to realize their dreams of a better future.
And he’s learned, over the years, answers to some of these nagging questions. Hammond met, congratulated in person, and listened to the stories of several scholarship recipients. He reads their aspirations in letters of thanks and says he is deeply grateful for the opportunity to play a small role in helping each grant recipient work towards a better future.
“Often in my life, people have been generous to me. I’ve had a lot of breaks in my life. Many things have gone my way. I knew the right people, or whatever. Somewhere along the line I said I wanted to give back. That What I really like to do is live a life full of gratitude. For me, that also means giving. Some people who have the ability to give don’t give.”
During the recent honors ceremony, Alamo College President Pamela Payne spoke about how Hammond embodies a spirit of service.
“He’s been a great long-term fundraiser,” she said. “For his willingness to reach out to people, Hall’s relentless thirst for student help has only grown over the years. Hall has earned more than honorary status—the book was written on her!”
Echoing Payne’s comments, Dr. Jane Sprague, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Alamo Colleges District, said, “We have been so proud of this incredible legacy that has allowed so many students to pursue their dreams of higher education.”
Mike Flores, an advisor to Alamo Colleges, said that in the short period since 2019 when Hammond and his wife Pat established a scholarship fund in their name, they invited dozens of friends and colleagues to support them to join them. The result is that 426 students have already benefited from the Hall and Pat Hammond Scholarship Fund.
“Let me repeat, Hall’s personal connection has directly impacted the lives of 426 people, since 2019,” Flores said. “…the fund is currently over $215,000 in size, and the numbers keep growing. And you can be a part of this!”
Hammond also invites others to share in this giving legacy.
“Scholarships are really needed. Scholarships will change people’s lives,” he said. “25-30% of our scholarships go to people who are the first in their families to go to university. We keep seeing it over and over again. The scholarship isn’t necessarily what got them there, but it helped them. keep them going. I would say a third to half of them would not go to school even if they didn’t get that scholarship. Five hundred dollars can make all the difference.
“This is what made me want to start the Hall and Pat Hammond Scholarship Fund. When you have your name on it, friends and other fans know you have a special look in the game.”
For information about scholarships at the Alamo Colleges Foundation, please contact Richard Farias, email@example.com, or visit www.alamo.edu/give.