James Dillard “JD” Hammond
James Dillard “JD” Hammond, 87, of State College (Centre), Pennsylvania died Monday, November 23, 2020, of natural causes at Mount Nittany Medical Center surrounded by his family. Too understand JD, folks need to know a little of his history. JD’s parents, the late W. Byron and Lillian Irene Goodpasture Hammond, were living on a farm homesteaded by their grandparents in northwest Missouri, just outside Maitland (Holt). They were raising two children, Mildred Marie Hammond Templeton (1921–2016) and Robert Hammond (1924–2011) when JD came along, much later, November 14, 1933. He was birthed in the farmhouse that had no electricity or running water. It was near the bottom of the Great Depression. When JD was 8 years old, he and his siblings lost their father to illness. From then on, his mother, always a strong influence, and his extended rural community helped JD develop his spiritual foundation, self-reliance, and code of ethics. Recently, he recalled an important moment during that time when he sat on the front porch, thinking. “I realized in that moment that anything I was going to get in life, I was going to have to get on my own.” That realization and resulting drive, along with exposure to a long line of mentors, helped guide him to a distinguished academic and business career.
JD graduated from Maitland High School in 1951 with 11 classmates, all of whom he cited as positive influences on one another. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1955 from Northwest Missouri State University (then College), where he was later named a Distinguished Alumnus and twice addressed the graduating class as commencement speaker. A scholarship in his name is awarded to full time undergraduate students at the University’s Booth School of Business. He was the first President of the first chapter (Delta Nu) of Tau Kappa Epsilon social fraternity (TKE). After graduating from “Northwest”, JD packed a trunk and one suitcase and boarded a train in St. Joseph, Missouri that took him to Philadelphia. He had been awarded a doctoral fellowship from the S.S. Huebner Foundation that enabled him to pursue a PhD in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He received his degree in 1961 and taught at Wharton for one year. While in Philadelphia he “counterbalanced the intensity of graduate school” with the Tabernacle Young Adults Church Group. An important part of his life, he remained in contact with its surviving members until his passing.
From Wharton, JD moved to The Ohio State University with a joint academic appointment as Assistant Professor of Economics and Business Organization from 1959–1964. There he met his future wife of 60 years, Marian Idle, who was working as a dietitian at The Ohio State University Hospital while taking graduate coursework to complete her Master of Science degree in Dietetics. They married in 1960 in Mansfield, (Richland), Ohio.
His wife survives as do his two children, Michael Hammond of Raleigh, North Carolina, and Nancy Hammond of Birmingham, Alabama.
In 1964, JD accepted the role of Associate Professor of Business Administration at The Pennsylvania State University and achieved the rank of Professor in 1969. In 1987 he was named William Elliott Chairholder in Insurance, the first endowed Faculty Chair in the University. He became the Chairman of the Department of Insurance and Real Estate in 1986 and was named Dean of the Smeal College of Business Administration in 1989. He retired from this position as Dean Emeritus and William Elliott Professor Emeritus in 1999. The late 1980s and early 1990s marked times of challenge for business schools nationally. Dean Hammond assembled a strong faculty leadership team that embarked on a major self-study designed to provide a base for strategic planning, emphasis on core disciplines, and vision for Smeal College to be one of the top public business schools in the nation. Internally, the faculty revised both the undergraduate and MBA programs. The doctoral program faculty regrouped to enhance work across multiple disciplines. Partnerships with other University Colleges formed.
Externally, Dean Hammond created the college’s first Board of Visitors which included chief executive officers of corporations. This group provided sound counsel, mentorship, and philanthropy to benefit long-term excellence. Dean Hammond also led efforts to significantly grow funds to establish chair and faculty endowments. These funds set the stage for Smeal to attract and retain internationally recognized faculty yet today. A restructured Alumni Advisory Board encouraged broader participation with students and College organizations. In 1999, the College’s Alumni Society Board of Directors honored Dean Hammond by creating the Hammond Society, an organization recognizing the service of all Alumni Board Members. During his tenure, Dr. Hammond authored or co-authored more than 50 papers and publications, five of which received awards for outstanding contributions to the insurance literature. In 2011, Penn State recognized Dr. Hammond as an honorary alumnus for his leadership in enhancing the national prominence of the Smeal College of Business, and his contributions to the University at large. Dean Hammond once noted, “You don’t find a top business school in anything other than a top university, and the top universities have top business schools.”
Throughout his career, Dr. Hammond contributed to a number of professional organizations and private sector boards. He held several responsibilities with The American Risk and Insurance Association, including President. While serving the International Insurance Society for nearly two decades, he promoted interaction between private sector executives and academicians in over a dozen countries. He served on boards of The Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company, Scudder mutual investment funds, and privately owned organizations.
JD was a private gentleman with a wry wit and insightful approach. Growing up, he was a tough opponent on the Maitland billiards circuit. He began a lifelong passion for cars when his grandfather drove home a new Model A Ford. He and his son enjoyed trips to auto racing events and several major golf championships over the years. They also enjoyed many practice sessions and rounds at local golf courses. He and his daughter shared another great passion, sound, and together they enjoyed researching and listening to serious high fidelity sound equipment, selecting just the right sitting spot between the speakers. He and Marian forged long lasting friendships following college football and playing “Newcomers Bridge” with a group of Penn State faculty formed in the middle 60s.The prospect of a trip to New York, good food, good wine, and family dinners made his eyes twinkle. He mentored people from all walks of life, a role that allowed him to give back to so many the way he was able to receive throughout his life. In later years, as mobility became more difficult, he and Marian spent many hours watching the old movies, especially musicals.
He and Marian have been members of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church since their first days in State College, PA. JD always said that taking care of his family was the most important thing to him. He did just that. His family is thankful for the walk they shared.
There will be no public visitation due to COVID-19 restrictions. Private funeral services will be held at the convenience of the family. Burial will be in the Spring Creek Presbyterian Cemetery (Centre). A headstone will also be placed in the Maitland (Holt) Cemetery, Missouri alongside other family members. JD’s family invites friends and colleagues to remember JD in ways of their personal choosing and requests no flowers. If inclined, folks can donate to the J. D. Hammond Family Scholarship in International Business, Northwest Foundation, Northwest Missouri State University, 800 University Drive, Maryville, MO, 64468. For related scholarship inquiries call 660-562-1248. Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at www.kochfuneralhome.com.