William James College recently awarded honorary degrees to Jamaica Plain residents Reverend Dr. Ray Hammond and his wife, Reverend Dr. Gloria White-Hammond during the William James College 38th commencement.
Held on June 3, Reverend Dr. Ray Hammond and Reverend Dr. Gloria White-Hammond founded the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Boston in 1986. Since its founding, the church has launched several programs to serve at-risk youth and in 1998 was credited for the movement known as “The Boston Miracle” during which there was a significant drop in citywide homicide rates.
“The work of Reverend Drs. Ray Hammond and Gloria White-Hammond is truly admirable,” said Dr. Nicholas Covino, president of William James College. “Their sense of community and social responsibility has led them to serve more than 2,300 people in Greater Boston and 4,000 people across the world every year.”
Aside from his work as pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Reverend Dr. Ray Hammond is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Ten Point Coalition; Executive Director of Bethel’s Generation Excel program; Executive Committee Member, Black Ministerial Alliance; Chair of the Boston Opportunity Agenda; a member of the Strategy Team for the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization; a member of the Boston Green Ribbon Commission; and a trustee of several local organizations. Dr. Hammond completed his bachelor’s degree at Harvard College, received his master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School.
Aside from her work as pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Dr. Gloria White-Hammond co-founded My Sister’s Keeper, a humanitarian women’s group that partners with women of Sudan in their efforts toward reconciliation and reconstruction of their communities. She sits on the Board of Trustees of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Board of Overseers for the Tufts University College for Community and Public Service and the Board of Christian Solidarity International (Zurich). She received her bachelor’s degree from Boston University, her master’s degree from Harvard Divinity School, and her M.D. from Tufts Medical School.