Page 8 - Summer Alumni Magazine 2012

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Dr. Tom Hammett’s more than 40-year career in education
began even before he received his degree from Troy University.
In May, the 1971 music education graduate closed the classroom
door for the last time, retiring after teaching choral music in the
Chattanooga, Tenn. area for the last 29 years.
“I had already taught two years for the Troy City Schools prior
to graduation,” Hammett said. “I continued my teaching career at
Crestview High School where I served as choral director for four
During his time at Crestview, Dr. Hammett completed his
master’s degree in music education and moved to Phenix City
to teach music at the junior college level. He later earned a
doctorate in music education from Florida State University and
moved to a teaching position in Dalton, Ga. where he remained
for 17 years.
While in close proximity to Atlanta, Hammett realized a long-
held dream of singing with the Robert Shaw Chorale, which
included concert tours to Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center.
The Shaw chorus and orchestra garnered numerous Grammy
Awards while Hammett was involved.
From Dalton, Hammett moved to Chattanooga where he has
lived ever since.
“I don’t think I’ll ever have the opportunity to enjoy quiet,
peaceful or boring days of retirement, even though I formally
retired from teaching in May,” Hammett said. “I presently serve
as director of music ministries at Brainerd Presbyterian Church
and have just begun a new career as a radio broadcaster for
WDYN Radio in Chattanooga.”
Hammett said he was grateful for the opportunities afforded
him through his TROY education.
“There is no way I will ever be able to thank the professors and
administrators at Troy University for all the doors they opened
for me,” he said. “They helped produce a life filled with fulfilled
Hammett and his wife, Faye, have four daughters – Emily
Grace, Charity, Rosalie and Stephanie.
TROY alumnus retires from the classroom
• (above)
The Hammett family pictured in front of a portrait of Dr. Tom Hammett’s
mentor Robert Shaw at Symphony Hall in Atlanta. Left to right: daughters Emily Grace
and Charity, Tom Hammett, Tom’s wife Faye, and daughters Rosalie and Stephanie.
Book chronicles
experiences of
former TROY
staffer during
World War I I
The late Dr. Renwick Kenne-
dy, a former director of public
relations at TROY, is the topic
of the latest book by Alabama
author and historian Tennant
The book, “Chaplain’s
Conflict: Good and Evil in
a War Hospital, 1943-1945,”
provides a candid view of
what went on in the World
War II evacuation hospitals
through the eyes of Kennedy,
a former U.S. Army chaplain.
Kennedy served as field
visitor and director of public
relations at TROY during the
“The Chaplain’s Conflict
employs the stage of a
World War II evacuation
hospital to tell the story of a
Christian struggle with killing
and war,” McWilliams said.
“The experience of serving
in World War II opened
Kennedy and deepened him
so profoundly that within
three years of coming home
he could no longer live the
full-time life of the minister.”
McWilliams collected
Kennedy’s war diaries and
postwar articles published
in “Christian Century” and
“Time” magazines to retrace
the steps of the Army’s 102nd
Evacuation Hospital in the
European Theater. He also
interviewed citizens of France
and Luxembourg who recall
the 102nd to further reveal the
local citizens’ reactions to the
army hospital that illuminated
both Kennedy’s severe
criticism and his enduring
praise for evacuation life.
McWilliams is a retired
professor of history and
former dean of the UAB
School of Social and
Behavioral Science.
Alumnus part of
Pulitzer Prize-
winning coverage
of tornado
Jamon Smith (2004) was part
of the Tuscaloosa News team
recently awarded the Pulitzer
Prize in the breaking news
category for its coverage of
the April 27, 2011, tornado
Smith, who graduated
from TROY’s Hall
School of Journalism and
Communication and served as
reporter and columnist for
student newspaper,
was a part of the news team
that made use of social media
to update the community
about the storms and their
aftermaths when Tuscaloosa
lost power.
In addition to providing
updates and tracking the
damage caused by the storm,
Smith also captured some of
the first video and photos
from the areas. His work
in the award-winning entry
package included the first
staff report on the damage
in Alberta in the stories
“Tornado Ravages City”
and “Survivors Crawl from
Rubble.” Also included was
his story “Authorities Restrict
Access to Rosedale Court,”
along with several tweets,
videos and photos.
This is the second Pulitzer
Prize earned by a Hall
School of Journalism and
Communication alumnus. The
first was won by alumnus Ed
Rouze, the news editor of
Journal in 1988,
when that newspaper wrote a
series of articles about infant
mortality in Alabama.
TROY Magazine