DR. CHARLES HAMMOND
A conversation with Aabye-Gayle Francis-Favilla
Charles Hammond began his professional life in the corporate world, first working for General Motors and then for a pharmaceutical company called Sterling Drug. He expected to spend his professional life working as a successful Christian businessman. However, after nearly two decades in the corporate world, Charles began to feel God guiding him in a different direction. First he began serving on the pastoral staff at Brooklyn Tabernacle. Then, in response to a stirring in his heart, he sent his resume to Nyack College and was soon hired as the assistant to then president David Schroeder.
During his time at Nyack, Charles has witnessed and experienced transformation. He has held a number of titles and is currently dean of students for the city campus. Charles came to Nyack with an undergraduate degree. Encouraged by his colleagues, he has since earned his master’s and his PhD.
I spoke to Dean Hammond about his experiences at Nyack, his message to perspective students, and the goals he holds for himself and the school community.
What would you say are the principles that have guided you professionally?
My goal has always been centered around a couple of verses in the book of Colossians (Col. 3: 17, 23), which basically say the same thing in a different way: Whatever you do, do it to the glory of God. And whatever you do, do it with all of your heart. Nothing to me is worse than a half-baked anything. My goal, my passion, is to do it all for the glory of God—and to do it with excellence.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced working here?
It’s a great challenge for me to see students put their emphasis first on Christ. Ask anybody, “What’s Dean Hammond’s favorite verse?” and they’re going to tell you, “It’s Matthew 6:33.” I don’t care what your major is—whether it’s nursing, psychology, education, music, or pastoral ministry—you’ve got to put Christ first. When you do that, everything else is going to work out. In the world we’re living in today, there are so many challenges to that. All these things are always vying to try to secularize us and get us away from Christ, but that’s not going to stop me from doing my part. Like Billy Graham said, no one person saves the world. I just want to do my part.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
I just love being here. There’s no doubt about that. I couldn’t be somewhere if I didn’t enjoy it. To be able to come here and be somewhat impactful in the lives of people, that’s big to me. That’s cool. I enjoy the interaction. [My] colleagues, the faculty, the administration folks—I feel like I’m around some of God’s choicest people working here.
What would you like your legacy at Nyack to be?
I don’t want any notoriety of any kind. It means nothing to me at this point in my life. I’m in my “give back” years. I just want to give back. [I hope they’ll say,] “Dean Hammond was someone who exuded the aroma of Christ. When I’m around him, I just want to fall more in love with Jesus and be all that God wants me to be.”
What do you hope students who attend Nyack leave with when they graduate?
I hope they leave Nyack with a determination to be a world changer. That whatever profession [they pursue]—music, education, nursing, psychology, social work—that they take the academic piece and integrate it with their faith and go into the highways and byways to be the salt and light that Jesus wants us to be.
What is your message to incoming students?
From the depths of my heart, I want to welcome you here. The storms will come. The hard times will come, but God is able to bring you through the storms. You’re going to get the best education that you could ever possibly get. The scholarship here is second to none, and everything that comes along side of that will be commensurate. I welcome you here with open arms. Welcome.