William & Mary

Message regarding Sarah Hammond

Provost Michael Halleran sent the following message to the campus community on Nov. 30, 2011 - Ed.

Dear Colleagues,

It is with great sadness that I inform you of the death of Sarah Hammond, a visiting professor at the College of William & Mary.  Professor Hammond died unexpectedly in her home this past Friday, November 25th. 

Sarah Hammond was a promising young scholar whose research and teaching focused on American religious history.  Her dissertation, “God’s Business Men: Entrepreneurial Evangelicals in Depression and War,” investigated how Christian businessmen fostered a politically engaged white evangelical subculture between 1930 and 1950.  Her research challenged the prevailing idea that there was a decline in fundamentalist Christianity during the Depression and World War II years, showing instead that the evangelical businessmen laid the groundwork for the late 20th Century fundamentalist movement.  Dr. Hammond was working on expanding the dissertation into a book manuscript, which was under contract with the University of Chicago Press, at the time of her death.

Prior to arriving at William & Mary, Dr. Hammond had worked at Oberlin College as a Research Associate, and taught an English Seminar at the University of Tϋbingen in Germany. She worked on numerous research projects that examined the relationship between social movements and religious groups.  She was truly an interdisciplinary scholar who brought together sociological and historical methods to investigate religious identities and groups.  Over her career, Dr. Hammond received many fellowships, including an Andrew F. Mellon Fellowship in Humanistic Studies and a Richard J. Franke Interdisciplinary Fellowship, which is an award given to exceptional students in the humanities at Yale, where she received her undergraduate degree (magna cum laude) and graduate degrees in Religious Studies.

Dr. Hammond was known as an astute professor who was renowned for her ability to facilitate engaged, thought-provoking discussions.  She brought creativity and a love for American religious history into the classroom.  Her ability to work closely with students, helping them achieve new skills in critical thinking and writing, was well regarded.  She was well liked by her colleagues and students and will be sorely missed.