Phil Hammond ’58: 53 Years of Marriage Owed to Delta Tau Delta

Several years ago, Brother Phil Hammond ’58 shared his Delta Tau Delta love story with us. It is reprinted here with his permission.

“When I was in high school in the early 50’s in Columbus, OH (actually, my high school was Upper Arlington High School), I attended the First Community Church, which had a very active youth group. I met a girl there. She was two years ahead of me and attended Grandview High School, our high school’s arch rival. Her name was Connie Conklin and I had a crush on her. Coincidentally, our fathers knew each other and our parents were social friends.  

When she graduated from high school, she went to Ohio Wesleyan and pledged Kappa Alpha Theta. She became pinned to Bruce Richardson ‘55, the Delt president at Kenyon. I was not a jock, other than golf, and did letter my two years at Kenyon, 54-56. I am sure Connie convinced Bruce to get the Delts to pledge me, for which I was eternally grateful. Bruce graduated in 1955 and I dated Connie my second, and last, year at Kenyon, despite our age differences. She was three years older than I, as I had skipped a grade in elementary school. During her last year at Ohio Wesleyan, she was the Theta president.  

After two years at Kenyon, I transferred to Ohio State for my third year, took my fourth year abroad and returned to OSU in the fall of 1958 to start law school. After my first year of law school, I spent the summer in Los Angeles working as a law clerk to the Sears & Roebuck west coast counsel. 

When I returned to Columbus to start my second year of law school, the Friday night in September before the first OSU football game, I went to the Delt house on campus to see if anything was going on. Since there wasn’t, I walked next door to the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority house. There were four Kappas sitting on the front porch and I asked if any of them wanted to go out for a beer with me. Corky Hummon raised her hand and we had a pleasant beer together. The next afternoon I walked to the stadium with her to watch the football game. Shortly thereafter, we each got pinned, but to different people.  

My pinmate graduated after my second year in law school and moved to CA. At the start of the winter quarter in my third, and last year of law school, I called the Kappa house, looking for a date. I asked to speak to Corky Ballentine but was informed that the only Corky at the Kappa house was Corky Hummon, so I asked for her. By that time she was the sorority president. I asked her out, she accepted, and we dated until we both graduated at the end of spring quarter. Corky took a job with United Airlines as a stewardess and was based in Los Angeles. After six months in the Ohio National Guard, to avoid being drafted, I took a job with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) as a fledgling trial attorney. I was to report to the NLRB office in Albuquerque, NM, but the day before I left to drive to Albuquerque, I received a phone call from the NLRB office in Washington, D. C., asking if I could go to Los Angeles instead. 

Of course, I said yes. Corky and I hooked up again and were married six months later in June of 1962. We celebrated our 53rd wedding anniversary this past June. We have two sons and five grandchildren, twins and triplets who were born two months apart in 2001 and who are all now 14 years old and freshmen in high school. The twins live with their parents in Sandwich, MA, which is on Cape Cod, and the triplets live with their parents in Scottsdale, AZ, fifteen minutes from us.”