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Hammitt awarded emeritus status posthumously

Stephanie Hammitt, late president of Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, was posthumously awarded president emeritus status by the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. The award of emeritus status is a special honor for employees who have served with great distinction.

Hammitt worked at the college in a variety of roles from 1990 until her passing in 2022. She served as interim president for 18 months before officially being appointed president in November 2019. She called her appointment “humbling, gratifying and possibly one of the longest interviews ever.”

An enrolled member of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Hammitt talked about walking in two worlds during her formal appointment ceremony in January 2020, the same worlds that the college straddles: community and tribal.

“That is what we do as our work is performed here,” she said. “It is even evident in our facility.

We have our cultural values written in Ojibwe and English on the hallway floors, to remind

us how to go about our daily work. … Traditional always mixes with non-traditional here and I wouldn't have it any other way.”

Hammitt passed away in November 2022 after a brief battle with cancer.

“Stephanie was a quiet soul but there was no doubt of her deep conviction and passionate commitment for her students, her community, and her culture and heritage,” said Chancellor Devinder Malhotra. “She took seriously the responsibility of being a leader in the system and the state regarding enhancing access to postsecondary education for students from Native communities and incorporating Native issues in our programmatic structures and curricular paradigms. She believed that each and every student that walked the halls of the college deserved the most robust support to achieve their full potential and academic success.”