Joseph I. Hammond walked to his New York City office in the early 1960's, past Park Avenue, and dreamt of the success that might one day be his. He was working for Korfund Dynamics, a company specializing in shock and vibration control. While there, he learned about a German-developed acoustical material used to quiet the country's World War II U-boats. It wasn't long before Hammond began planning the expanded sale of that material, and a business of his own.
With a borrowed desk in the office of a friend, Hammond set out to build his dream. He named his new venture Soundcoat, and his one-man operation was born. Soundcoat became profitable in 30 months, serving such blue-chip customers as RCA, Univac, and John Deere. Soundcoat was sold to a European conglomerate in 1989 and Hammond looked forward to an active retirement aboard his soon-to-be completed fishing boat. Sadly, and unexpectedly, he died the following year.
Hammond's other dream, enthusiastically supported by his wife Mimi, was for the future of Lehigh. He established a life income trust in 1989 and stipulated a significant bequest from his estate. Mimi continues to support the fund and visits the university each year to meet the recipients of the Hammond Scholarship.