At 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 30, the Dartmouth community is invited to celebrate the life of Summer Hammond ’17, who died in July following a struggle with cancer.
Students, staff, and family will offer remembrances in a brief service at the Bema. In case of rain, the service will be held in Rollins Chapel.
“It is so hard to try to involve everyone, because there are so, so many people here that Summer was close to,” says Aliyah Gallup ’17, who is helping to organize the event along with Jennifer Cunningham ’17 and Tanya Budler ’15.
“I think this service will be a good time for the Dartmouth community, a community that Summer loved so much, to come together and acknowledge what an impact Summer had on this campus and these people,” says Cunningham. “The three of us attended the service they held in Colorado, and it was an event that offered us some closure but also allowed us to see the influence Summer had and will continue to have on all of us.”
Summer Hammond ’17, who died July 20, will be remembered in a memorial service on campus to which the entire Dartmouth community is invited.
Cunningham met Hammond when they were dorm-mates during their first year at Dartmouth. “She lived directly across the hall and spent more time on my futon than in her own room.”
After the service, the community is invited to a reception in Collis Common Ground at 5:30 p.m., featuring line dancing to the music of New Hampshire-based country band The Shana Stack Band, as well as a slideshow, letter writing, and light refreshments.
“It wouldn’t be a true celebration of Summer without some country music and line dancing after,” says Gallup, who considers Hammond her best friend. “Summer taught us all how to be positive and happy and we want this memorial to be as respectful, positive, and joyous as she would want it and deserves.”
Kristi Clemens, assistant dean of student affairs and director of case management, has been helping Hammond’s friends plan next week’s events. “Summer was an incredible young woman whose strength and light was invigorating to everyone she met in her short time in this world,” she says. “Working with her friends to plan this memorial has been a wonderful way to know her through their eyes.”
At Dartmouth Hammond, who came from Centennial, Colo., was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma and a played on the women’s club soccer team. In the year before her death, she traveled to Argentina on a foreign study program, raised money for the annual Prouty fundraiser for cancer research, and was one of the top 25 fundraisers for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event in May.
“Summer was a truly exceptional person with an endlessly positive approach to life that touched every person she came to know,” says Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Students Larissa Hopkins, who worked closely with Hammond. “I will always admire her fierce determination to reach her life goals, thrive academically, build strong interpersonal relationships, and simultaneously improve the world around her through compassionate leadership.”
Noting that Hammond’s parents plan to attend the events, Hopkins adds, “I’m grateful our Dartmouth community has an opportunity to come together and lovingly celebrate Summer’s life beside Mr. and Mrs. Hammond.”
Ann Bracken, director of Clinical Medical Services at Dick’s House and an assistant professor of medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine, provided care for Hammond at Dartmouth. She says she was moved by the bracelets Hammond’s family distributed during the Colorado memorial service, which were printed with the words, “Forever Positive—Summer’s Way.”
“That sums it up best. Summer Hammond had this amazing irrepressible grit and determination mixed with such genuine kindness,” she says. “She truly loved Dartmouth, and supported and inspired so many people in the Dartmouth community to be their best selves.”
“There is nothing big enough that we can do to reflect on how amazing Summer is and how her life here inspired so many,” says Gallup. “But we would like the campus to come together to remember her and honor Summer’s life.”