New Scholarship Cultivates Culinary Talent
A new scholarship will foster the development of aspiring culinary arts professionals enrolled at Central Piedmont Community College. The Tyler H. Hamm Culinary Scholarship, established to honor the memory of a former Central Piedmont student who died in a snowboarding accident, will be funded with an initial five-year commitment from Wray Ward, a marketing communications firm based in Charlotte. Tyler was the elder son of public relations lead and longtime Wray Ward employee Tracy Hamm.
“On behalf of our culinary arts program and our culinary students, the college thanks Wray Ward for this generous and thoughtful gift,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “This scholarship will honor Tyler’s memory and celebrate his passion for life, joy of cooking and career path in the culinary arts. We are grateful for and humbled by the Hamm family’s decision to have Tyler honored in this way.”
Beginning with the 2019-20 academic year in August, one Central Piedmont culinary student will receive the Tyler H. Hamm Culinary Scholarship. Recipients must have the following qualifications:
- Recent (within five years) high school graduate
- North Carolina resident
- Enrolled in the Central Piedmont Culinary Arts program
- At least a half-time student
- Employed at least part-time.
Tyler, a 2016 Ardrey Kell High School graduate, discovered his love for culinary arts as a Central Piedmont student. Following his spirit of adventure, Tyler began his culinary career at Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge in Talkeetna, Alaska. Other positions in Alaska and Aspen, Colorado, followed over the next two years. In fall 2018, Tyler joined the staff of Lynn Britt Cabin in Aspen’s Snowmass Village. On February 10, 2019, the aspiring chef, whose love for gourmet cooking and snowboarding led him to call Aspen home, died in a snowboarding accident on the town’s slopes.
“Tyler shared his father’s kind heart and zest for life,” said Jennifer Appleby, president and chief creative officer of Wray Ward. “His fearlessness on and off the slopes will serve as an inspiration to each of us to think bigger and more boldly, and Wray Ward is proud to be a small part of that legacy by helping other aspiring chefs follow their passion and chase their dream.”
The Hamms will assist with the award selection process by interviewing candidates identified by the Central Piedmont Foundation’s scholarship committee.
“Tyler lived life to the fullest and only knew one direction — forward,” Tracy Hamm said. “By supporting young culinary talent, this scholarship will celebrate our son’s chosen career path, his love for cooking and his passion for life.”
Wray Ward’s commitment will help establish a scholarship endowment and provide expendable annual scholarship funds to be held and administered by the Central Piedmont Foundation. Donations from other individuals and entities will support the scholarship program on a continuing basis.
For more information about the Tyler H. Hamm Culinary Scholarship, contact the Central Piedmont Foundation at 704.330.6869 or visit cpccfoundation.org/donation. Learn more about culinary and hospitality programs on our website or by calling 704.330.6723.
About Central Piedmont
Central Piedmont Community College is one of the largest community colleges in the Carolinas, offering nearly 300 degree, diploma and certification programs; customized corporate training; market-focused continuing education; and special interest classes. Central Piedmont is academically, financially and geographically accessible to all citizens of Mecklenburg County. Central Piedmont responds to the workforce and technology needs of local employers and job seekers through innovative educational and training strategies. Established in 1963, Central Piedmont has provided more than 50 years of service to Mecklenburg County residents, business and industry. For more information, visit cpcc.edu. Connect with the college on social media at cpcc.edu/social.