At its quarterly meeting, the Board of Trustees discussed naming the Duke Chapel’s carillon after J. Samuel Hammond.
The Board passed a resolution to dedicate the Chapel’s 50-bell instrument to Hammond, after he played it every workday for more than 50 years. Hammond, Trinity '68 and Divinity School '96, was named university carillonneur emeritus and is retiring at the end of December.
"Sam Hammond has been playing the carillon for 50 years and is a remarkable member of the Duke community," President Vincent Price told The Chronicle after the Board of Trustees meeting. "It was among the most delightful parts of the meeting this weekend to be able to honor Sam in this way."
Playing the carillon for the first time when he was a first-year in 1964, Hammond has played the bells every year nearly 300 times. During his time at Duke, Hammond has “played a 15-minute interlude at the end of the work day more than 15,000 times,” according to Duke Today.
In addition to receiving master’s degrees in theological studies and library science, Hammond has also served as a music librarian for 41 years.
“Sam has brought intelligence, excellence, humility, charm, and grace to his work every day, and has brought joy and meaning to the Duke community through his deep knowledge of his craft and his superb musicianship, creating the unmistakable sound of the pealing of the bells across West Campus,” the trustees wrote in their resolution.
Hammond will have two interim replacements—Paul Bumbalough, senior adviser with Duke Visa Services, and Joseph Fala, organ scholar at the Chapel.
The Board of Trustees discussed the Triangle light rail—which Price has voiced concerns about—but no action was taken on the matter, he said.
The members also voted to remove Julian Carr’s name from an East Campus building and renamed it to the Classroom Building until another name is proposed.
Bre Bradham contributed reporting.
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