From their deep roots in education, Verle and Eleanor Hammond founded a 501(c)(3) charitable organization in their name to provide college scholarships and supporting various programs that assist public schools in closing the achievement gap. Established in 2002, the Foundation is focused in Loudoun County where the Hammonds have strong ties through their children and grandchildren who reside there.
Verle Hammond has had many family members influence his belief in the importance of higher education. As a preschooler, while his parents worked at a defense plant, he lived with his great aunt Fannie B. Reid, the first black principal in Sanford, Florida. She imparted her strong values about reading and especially higher education to her nephews and nieces. Mr. Hammond also has two sisters with distinguished teaching careers in Florida and Washington, D.C., and his wife Eleanor is a retired educator.
Eleanor Hammond comes from a family of educators. Her mother graduated from Ft. Valley State College and was a dedicated and highly creative 4th and 5th grade teacher in Adel, Georgia. Mrs. Hammond's father graduated from Savannah State College (now Savannah State University) and was a social studies teacher. A man ahead of his time, he was well known for getting black voters to the polls in the 1950's. Because of her parents' influence, Mrs. Hammond wanted to be a teacher ever since she could remember. She was also strongly encouraged and mentored by her grandparents and aunts.