Roselyn Elizabeth Hammond, a retired Morgan State University biology professor who often entertained at the piano, died of cancer Sept. 3 at Gilchrist Hospice Care. The Ashburton resident was 72.
Born Roselyn Elizabeth Brown in Grambling, La., she was the daughter of Bienville Parish educators. Known as Rose, she excelled in science.
She earned a biology degree at Grambling College and won a scholarship to Ohio State University, where she earned a master's degree in science education. She received her doctorate from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and attended National Science Foundation workshops.
After teaching at Grambling High School, she moved to Baltimore and joined the Morgan faculty in 1970. There she met her future husband, Ernest C. Hammond Jr., a member of the physics department.
"Their mutual interest in the sciences, classical music and gathering with friends made for years of companionship, intellectual compatibility and love," said a nephew, Robert A. Brown III of Atlanta. "She took pride in her profession and was a mentor and role model to her many students. She touched their lives, inspired them to set and achieve high goals. She made learning challenging and rewarding. She wanted her students to achieve as much as they could."
Friends said that her students often praised Dr. Hammond for the interest she took in their lives.
"She was dedicated to teaching," said Kenneth Samuel of Baltimore, a Morgan biology professor and colleague for 16 years. "She enjoyed working with her students, and she taught them lessons about life and what they could take out of the classroom."
She retired from Morgan as an assistant professor of biology in July.
Dr. Hammond was the founder in 1988 of the Morgan State University Science-Mathematics-Engineering Fair and remained on its steering committee until her retirement. She was the author of several academic works.
"Rose was the epitome of an elegant lady in her style and manner. She was often complimented on her fashion sense," said her nephew. "She was fun to be around and humorous. She loved the arts and dancing. She appreciated beauty in all of its manifestations. She was generous with her wisdom and friendship."
He said she was a gifted piano player who appreciated classical music, both vocal and orchestral. She had a piano in her home and often played at musical programs for many social organizations.
An avid shopper, she was a stylish dresser and was known for her hats.
Dr. Hammond was a 50-year member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and belonged to its Epsilon Omega chapter. She was also a member and past president of the Baltimore City Chapter of Links and belonged to the arts organization the Pierians.
She was a recording secretary of the Philomatheans and a past president of the Morgan State University Women. She was also a member of the Walters Art Museum's Bannister Lewis Tanner Circle.
She had been active in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's Community Outreach Committee and the President's Committee for the Morgan State University Choir.
Dr. Hammond was a member of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, the Beta Kappa Chi Scientific Honor Society and the Kappa Delta Pi International Education Honor Society. She had been co-adviser of the Ernest E. Just Biology Club.
Services were Tuesday at Douglas Memorial Community Church, where she played the piano for events and belonged to the church choir.
In addition to her husband of 38 years and her nephew, survivors include nieces and another nephew.