Dr. Troy D. Hammond, a scientist, teacher and entrepreneur, will be North Central College’s next president, only the 10th in the school’s 151-year history. Board Chair Steven Hoeft ’73 announced the selection of Hammond after a unanimous vote of the College’s Board of Trustees.
"Dr. Hammond brings a wealth of experience to North Central College," says Hoeft. "He is uniquely equipped to lead this institution forward."
The 45-year-old scientist, originally from Kokomo, Ind., earned his Ph.D. in experimental atomic physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1996 where he was mentored by Dr. David Pritchard and Nobel Laureate Dr. Wolfgang Ketterle.
“Dr. Hammond has an impressive record of leadership accomplishments and impeccable academic credentials,” says College Trustee Dr. Holly Humphrey ’79, Professor of Medicine and Dean of Medical Education at The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and a member of the College’s Presidential Search Committee. “This, together with his energy and intellect make him ideally suited as North Central College’s 10th president.”
Hammond earned his B.S. in mathematics in 1989 from Milligan College, a private liberal arts college near Johnson City, Tenn.
"I'm extremely thankful for the experience I had as an undergraduate at Milligan because it opened my eyes to what a quality education in the liberal arts and sciences can do for a person and what it did for me," explains Hammond. “North Central College is an outstanding liberal arts institution. I can’t think of a more exciting and rewarding opportunity than to lead North Central as its next president.”
Hammond continued his education at Georgia Tech where he earned a second undergraduate degree, a B.S. in physics in 1990, and won a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship that paved his way to the doctoral program at MIT.
"At MIT there were a number of important things that happened. One of them was I met my wife Sharlene," says Hammond. Mrs. Hammond earned her B.S. in chemistry at MIT and is a Certified Nurse Practitioner.
Hammond's first position after graduate school was with McKinsey & Company, a leading management consulting firm. Based in their Pittsburgh, Pa. and Auckland, New Zealand offices, he spent eight years serving senior executives across the globe in a broad range of industries on their most critical business issues.
"As I finished my doctorate, I desired to broaden my professional horizons. McKinsey was a really unique place where they were recruiting graduates with different advanced degrees who brought great problem-solving and communication skills. With the right training and mentorship, we tackled and solved the most challenging problems in business," says Hammond. "It was a fantastic global experience."
In 2004, he joined Plextronics, Inc., a small technology company in Pittsburgh, Pa. as vice president, where he helped build it into a global leader in printed electronics.
"I co-founded Plextronics with technology developed in my laboratories at Carnegie Mellon University," says Dr. Richard McCullough, who is now Vice Provost for Research at Harvard University. "Dr. Hammond joined the team early on and was instrumental in commercializing the technology and in fundraising. He also collaborated seamlessly with my faculty and student colleagues. I worked closely with Dr. Hammond in many different environments and with his character, talents and academic credentials, I am convinced that North Central College made an excellent choice."
During his time at Plextronics he also returned to the classroom as adjunct professor of business at his undergraduate alma mater, teaching Quantitative Methods for Business for their newly established MBA program.
“The Search Committee and Board of Trustees were looking for a president to lead North Central College into an ever changing world of higher education,” says Trustee Michael Naset, retired senior partner with consulting firm Accenture, LLP, and Chair of the Search Committee. “Dr. Hammond brings a unique combination of business and academic expertise that will serve the College well for many years to come.”
Dr. Hammond and his family moved to Naperville in 2010 when he became president of the energy services business at BlueStar Energy, a private firm headquartered in Chicago. With his expertise in renewable energy technologies and sustainability, he provided commercial, industrial and institutional customers with energy efficiency services.
“We chose to live in Naperville because of its thriving downtown, close proximity to Chicago and its position as the anchor of the research and development corridor along I-88—the same unique advantages that benefit North Central College,” says Dr. Hammond. “This is a great liberal arts school with a great educational mission in a great location. It has strong faculty, intelligent and motivated students who travel the globe and earn prestigious national awards, and proud, accomplished alumni who support their alma mater.”
The search process began in February when Dr. Harold R. Wilde announced his plans to retire December 31, 2012 after serving more than 21 years as president of the College. The Presidential Search Committee conducted a national search and ultimately invited four individuals to receive further consideration as finalists for the presidency.
“The Presidential Search Committee did an excellent job,” says Hoeft. “Trustees and members of the campus community including faculty, staff and students interacted with the finalists. Dr. Hammond stood out as the candidate best prepared to lead North Central into the future.”
Hammond succeeds Wilde on January 1, 2013.
"Amazing things have been accomplished at the College over the last 21 years," says Hammond. "Dr. Wilde has left an indelible legacy at North Central College. Generations of students will be impacted by his leadership and I'm honored to be the College’s next president."
Dr. Hammond and his wife have four children, Adonay, Dillon, Karina and Gabrielle, all of whom attend school in Naperville School District 203.
Dr. Hammond and his family will be introduced to the North Central College campus community on Monday, October 29, at 1:30 p.m. in Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville, followed by a campus reception in the Wentz Concert Hall lobby from 2 to 3 p.m. North Central College’s website will offer a live webcast of the event. Video of the introduction of North Central College’s 10th president will be posted to the College’s website later on Monday.
On Tuesday, October 30, faculty, staff and students will have the opportunity to greet Dr. Hammond at informal receptions hosted on campus as follows: staff from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Smith Hall, Old Main; faculty at noon in Banquet Hall, Harold and Eva White Activities Center; students from 1:15 p.m. to 2 p.m. in Smith Hall, Old Main. Refreshments will be served at each reception.
Members of the North Central College Presidential Search Committee were: Chair, Michael Naset, Senior Partner (retired), Accenture LLP; Esther Benjamin ’90, Associate Director for Global Operations, United States Peace Corps; Holly Humphrey ’79,Professor of Medicine and Dean of Medical Education, The University of Chicago; Ann Durkin Keating, Dr. C. Frederick Toenniges Professor of History; Karl Kelley, Professor of Psychology; David Kelsch, President and CEO, Advanced Data Technologies, Inc.; Daniel Kerley ’13, Psychology Major; Jeff Oesterle ’76, Owner, Plaza Properties; Martin Sauer, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid; Jeffrey Swallow ’94, President and CEO, Magnetrol International, Inc.; Herman White, Senior Scientist, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory; Becky Anderson ’82 Wilkins; Co-owner, Anderson’s Bookshops, President, American Booksellers Association; Maria Wynne ’77, CEO, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana; Steven Hoeft ’73, ex officio, Chair, Board of Trustees, Partner, McDermott, Will, & Emery. The firm of Witt Kieffer supported the search.
Presidential Introduction Video