People matter to Grant Hammann. He’s the kind of guy who scheduled classes around his volunteer work at a South Bend elementary school, the football player known for mentoring younger teammates, the hall president with a mission to cultivate community.
“Professor (Ed) Hums would always say, ‘There’s a story behind every number and there are people behind every number, so you’ve got to think about the people.’ That’s something that’s always stuck with me.
Yes, he brought live kangaroos to Keough Hall’s chariot race. As hall president, he rented three for Keough’s signature event in 2015. The ’roos (who reportedly once partied with LeBron James) were a hit — as Hammann says, “Who wouldn’t want to see a kangaroo?” — and the idea reflects his drive to bring people together in community.
He penned a Notre Dame football “survival guide.” “When I was a kid, we moved around a lot,” he explains. “Something I’ve appreciated is having someone to help you out when you get there.” The walk-on wide receiver included tips on navigating the college transition, classes he found helpful for personal growth and advice on developing as a student-athlete.
He took to Snapchat to invite classmates to Mass. As a junior, Hammann set a goal to celebrate Mass in every chapel on campus. “To have a Mass that accessible at a university is pretty incredible and something we take for granted,” he says. He started posting what Mass he’d be at next on Snapchat so friends could join him. And they did.
His 40-yard dash time is 4.34 seconds. Being speedy came in handy when his volunteer gig in a third-grade classroom conflicted with a football weightlifting session. Hammann, who only missed two afternoons at the school in four years — both for football — was determined to see the students. He finished up at the school with 15 minutes to spare — and found himself 2 miles from campus with no ride. “So I ran,” he says.
He rejects the idea that business has to be cut-throat. “Just putting others before yourself is, in my opinion, just a better way to do business than to just think about what’s the bottom line, how do I get there regardless of what has to happen.”