Ron Hammer’s career at CWC began in 1981 when he enrolled in an introduction to broadcasting class with Gerry Garber. Hammer said he started taking art classes with David Young, Willis Patterson, Sally Wesaw, and many other ‘caring’ professors.
“I have always felt at home at CWC,” Hammer said. “The friendly staff encouraged me to continue taking classes while working various jobs for several years.”
After the completion of the Main Hall building, Hammer was hired as the grounds supervisor in 1994, a job he knew would be a challenge.
“Tom Heald, a county extension agent at the time, told me I stepped into a landscape nightmare. I was up for the challenge,” Hammer said. “It has been a rewarding challenge all the way to this day. Pruning trees is my favorite job. It is like you are creating a living sculpture of the tree. ”
Hammer continued to take classes while working a full time job and graduated in 1997 with an associate of arts degree in general studies. During his career at CWC he studied, tested and became a certified landscape technician and a certified arborist.
The campus has grown tremendously the last 22 years with new buildings, remodels, new landscapes, with more trees and grassy lawns, he said.
“To me, the campus grounds are basically a really big yard that requires constant attention and work. It is a labor of love that I have enjoyed immensely,” Hammer said.
A few major accomplishments he recalls are improving the campus irrigation system, planting trees, designing and installing the community garden irrigation system and maintaining the beautiful landscape. He also supervised more than 100 student workers during his 22 year tenure.
“I have had student workers go on to be engineers, teachers, arborists, welders and mechanics,” Hammer said. “They helped inspire me to keep looking forward with a positive attitude for a better future.”
“Although I am retiring from the position, the CWC community will always be in my heart. I am grateful to have worked with so many good people and friends. I know that those before me gave me the foundation for success,” Hammer said. “I hope my achievements will give those following me a solid foundation as well.”