Wednesday, December 9, 2009

posted Dec 9, 2009, 7:56 PM by Jeremy Poehnert   [ updated Dec 9, 2009, 8:20 PM ]
I just found out that John Hammond, the professor that oversaw my study abroad experience in England, passed away at the age of 74.  Here's what I wrote on a memory page they started for him on Facebook:

Start ---

I'm from the US; I spent a semester at Homerton as a visiting student, and John directed our program. I was truly touched by what a thoughtful, sincere and generous man he was. I'll never forget when he hosted all of us for Thanksgiving at his house, as a little taste of home (something he did annually for all the US students). He was such a welcoming and congenial host, he made my experience at Homerton truly special.

End ---

I'm incredibly grateful to John for my experience at Homerton, the college I was at in England.  The program was competitive, and I was not the strongest applicant, but he gave me a chance, and it was a life changing experience - literally, I can't imagine how my life would be if I hadn't gone. I'll always be grateful to him for giving me that opportunity.

The Thanksgiving he hosted for us is one of my favorite Thanksgiving memories.  Thanksgiving (as we celebrate it) is a distinctly US tradition, and not one most people in the UK would be at all familiar with.  But John put on the entire production, with all the US traditions, and made a wonderful event of it, inviting all the international students and a number of English students.

He was a truly special person.