– Erin L. Givens
***The writer is enrolled in Comm 240 News Reporting.***
The Fort Hays State University Band struck up the fight song as President Edward H. Hammond stepped out into the sunny quad on Friday, May 2.
With a big smile on his face, he waved to the crowd of friends and well-wishers. It was a great surprise party for Hammond’s 70th birthday.
Kent Stewart, director of university relations, made a short speech in which he recited a few lines from the poem “A Psalm of Life” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
“Ed Hammond is a man who has left his footprints in the sands of time,” Stewart said.
The speeches where kept short so that Hammond had time to meet and greet his guests, but Hammond, surrounded by his family, did get to the podium to thank everyone for coming.
“It’s been a wonderful day for the University and for me,” Hammond said. Earlier in the day the university announced the new president, Mirta Martin, who will be taking the position on July 1.
While Hammond made his way through the crowd to the table holding the birthday cake, the band played the 1980s classic, “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey.
“There’s one thing Dr. Hammond would like us to do,” said Lane Weaver, director of athletic bands, “and that’s keep believing.”
Hammond blew out the candles on the three-tier cake made by Chartwell’s Dining Service, and everyone grabbed a piece of cake and lemonade.