Sophomore Receives First Dot Jones Hammons Award for Responsible Citizenship
Natalie Alexander ’25 is the first recipient of the award. She was chosen because she exhibits characteristicsthe award’s namesake, Dot Jones Hammons ’76, has demonstrated throughout her life: intellectual curiosity, steadfastness, loyalty, kindness, and compassion.
Natalie Alexander ’25 is all about making the world a better place, just like Dot Jones Hammons ’76. According to Nick Simpson, Director of the Institute for Responsible Citizenship, Natalie is genuine, enthusiastic, and humble, and she always has a smile on her face. As a member of the global civic engagement cohort of Hutchison’s myExperience program, she explores how global and community-based engagement impacts the world and its communities.
In February, Natalie received the Dot Jones Hammons Award for Responsible Citizenship, which recognizes an outstanding student in her sophomore year. Simpson and Hammons presented the award to Natalie as a surprise during convocation.
"I was trying to think of who in the grade it would be," Natalie said after the convocation. "I was thinking of everyone except for myself. When I heard my name, it was amazing. I was in total shock, but I am very grateful for this award."
Dot’s husband, John Hammons, endowed the award in Dot’s honor in 2021, and it was announced during the 2021-2022 school year. You can read more about Dot’s lifetime devotion to service here. The award criteria state that the recipient must be an academically strong student with outstanding character who improves her school community as she prepares to leave a positive mark on the world. Natalie’s selection was determined by a committee of school leaders including Simpson. He said Natalie lives these tenets and criteria daily.
“Natalie is curious. She’s on top of all of her work. She’s constantly generating new ideas. She attends every meeting. Beyond that, we’ve been impressed by how she works with her peer group,” Simpson said.
Natalie said she has enjoyed her time in the myExperience program so far: "I have loved being able to look at the world through the lens of global civic engagement. It has been great to have new mentors I can go to and ask for advice or to talk about different events in society."
To Natalie, responsible citizenship means thinking about the world in a way that's much bigger than herself. "As a citizen, it's your job to serve the community and to put yourself in other people's shoes and do whatever you need to support them. It's taking care of yourself and others," she said.
Tonya Faulkner, Hutchison’s Director of Student Inclusion and Belonging, leads the global civic engagement cohort. Faulkner said Natalie consistently demonstrates leadership and dedication.
“Natalie exemplifies model leadership by implementing innovative ideas and listening intentionally with other cohort members in order to work collaboratively,” Faulkner said. “She is always punctual to our weekly meetings, comes prepared to work, and thinks methodically about the overall picture. She is a respectful young leader and a pleasure to work with.”
As part of the award, Natalie will receive a stipend covering a travel experience connected to work in the Institute for Responsible Citizenship. It will pay for her myExperience cohort’s trip to New York this summer. Her group will meet with professors at colleges, go to museums, and connect with alumnae in the area.