The 58th graduating class officially became alumni when they turned the tassel on May 20th at First Presbyterian Church. In what has become a time-honored tradition, junior class marshals escorted graduates down the aisle where they sat together as a class for the last time. This year's commencement speaker was Charlie Todd '97, who shared with the class his experiences as a Hammond student as well as life lessons learned as he started his own business, Improv Everywhere.
The Class of 2023 by the Numbers
Members of the Class of 2023 were accepted to 95 colleges in 27 states and the District of Columbia.
They will attend 27 colleges in 12 states and the District of Columbia.
75% percent will attend in-state while 25% percent will attend out of state.
Six members of the class were recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation as National Merit Commended Scholars, and two students were named National Merit Scholars. Three additional students were named College Board National Recognition Program Scholars.
Two students were selected as candidates for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, one of the nation’s highest academic honors.
29% of the class met the qualifications to be named South Carolina Palmetto Fellows, the state’s highest lottery funded scholarship award.
Members of the Class of 2023 were offered academic scholarships in excess of $6 million dollars, including full cost of attendance scholarships to the College of Charleston, Duke University, Presbyterian College, and the University of South Carolina.
Testing and Grades
The average SAT score was 1265, and the average ACT score was 27.7.
45% percent of the class scored 1300 on the SAT or 28 on the ACT or higher.
69 students (92% of the class) completed 290 AP and Post-AP courses before completing their Hammond diplomas. 46 students completed 3 or more, 25 completed 5 or more, 15 completed 7 or more, and 7 students completed 9 AP and Post-AP Courses each.
23 students earned GPAs of 4.5 or higher and were awarded the designation of Honor Graduate.
Points of Pride
They are artists – students who have been composers, theater apprentices, commercial stars, freelance photographers, dancers performing the famed role of Clara in the Nutcracker, and musicians who wrote, recorded, and released a full-length album. They are singers who’ve performed in venues all over the globe including St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, an international music festival in Germany, and across our great city, even at the South Carolina Gubernatorial Inauguration.
They are explorers – one student has traveled to over 20 countries, another spent their summers in Egypt, and one has visited all 30 of the Major League Baseball Parks. Others have hiked Machu Picchu and Philmont Scout Base, swum with whale sharks, and SCUBA dived in the Indian Ocean.
They are philanthropists – Eagle Scouts, humanitarians, recyclers, and fundraisers. They’ve given horseback rides at Camp Kemo, nursed baby kittens, walked in charitable fashion shows, and volunteered with therapeutic riding programs. They have facilitated the birth of hundreds of baby turtles, volunteered at orphanages in Uganda, served as camp counselors for children struggling with homelessness, and assisted the National Forest Service by creating fire breaks to help prevent the spread of forest fires.
They are multi-sport, accomplished athletes, nine of whom will continue their careers at the collegiate level in baseball, equestrian, football, lacrosse, soccer, and track. They have broken Skyhawk Athletics records, played in twenty-four-hour-long lacrosse games benefitting veterans, and competed on ESPN. Among them are figure skaters, Black Belts, an Argentinian National Soccer Team player, and a 4-time All-American Sporting Clays competitor.
They are thinkers and tinkerers - they have studied countless languages on their own accord, curated websites on the national debt, outfitted wakeboarding boats with Corvette engines, and founded startup businesses, one that was featured in Business Insider. They’ve researched light detection, mechanical engineering, and population dynamics alongside faculty at Research 1 institutions. They’ve sought out internships, been elected to the Supreme Court at Girls State, and have been our resident go-to fix-it guys repairing faculty’s lawn equipment and office supplies.
More importantly, they are Skyhawks. Among their most memorable experiences are state championship wins, class trips, nature walks with Mr. Mancke, pep rallies, alumni soccer games, country of study days, football Fridays, and traveling to Costa Rica. They have particularly loved the traditions that are carried through our school community, experiencing them on both ends, like opening car doors for the LS on Fridays, Upperclassmen speaking at Fridays in the Kiva, and the Tree Lighting Ceremony. Through Hammond, they have traveled the globe and served communities locally and abroad, and they count Hammond travel opportunities among their greatest experiences. But they are happiest in their everyday lives as students. One senior shared, “My favorite aspect of the Hammond experience is how connected the students and faculty are. Every single day I find myself talking with teachers in a way that makes it easier to learn- at Hammond teachers are your friends and that is something truly special.”
The Class of 2023 represents an exceptionally diverse array of identities, lived experiences, and backgrounds.