The Story of the Armand Hammer United World College

      “New Mexico is home to many fine and outstanding institutions that cover a wide range of interests and missions. They all share the dual function of presenting New Mexico to the world and of bringing people to the area. The Armand Hammer United World College is one of these institutions. Situated near Las Vegas, New Mexico, the campus is also the home of the famed Montezuma Castle, one of America’s ’11 Most Endangered Historic Places’ according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. (The College is raising funds to restore the Castle.) Lockwood’s book should help to make the purpose of the College known to more people. He was the first president of the school and was involved from the very beginning in the planning. He writes very honestly about the struggle to get the school organized and keep it going. He gives credit where due to Armand Hammer but does not gloss over the difficulties caused by the eccentric man. The photographs in the book include many famous people who were associated with Hammer and/or the college. Among the celebrities are Prince Charles and the late Princess of Wales. There is an index.”
      --Marcia Muth, “Book Chat,” Enchantment
            “After retiring from the presidency of Trinity in 1981, Theodore Lockwood began the challenge of founding and serving as the first president of the United World College in Montezuma, New Mexico. This International Baccalaureate College joined three existing United World Colleges already established in Wales, Canada, and Singapore. The establishment of this college, The Armand Hammer United World College of the American West, owed its creation especially to Dr. Armand Hammer, a physician, businessman, and philanthropist. But, like other United World Colleges, this college came under the presidency of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and a London administrative office.
            “Lockwood’s story is of an institution which ‘opened with a flourish in September 1982, struggled with disappointments and financial uncertainty, but persevered to become an outstanding academic program for young people, ages 16 to 19, from over 70 countries around the world.’ With its dedication to enhancing the possibilities for peace and training young people in community service, the college, Lockwood says, is a ‘fascinating alternative at a time when improving the human condition is the highest priority.’ He retired from the presidency of United World College in 1993.”
      --Trinity Reporter
            “From his experience as the first president of the Armand Hammer United World College, author Theodore Lockwood commands a unique participant-observer understanding of the founding and first decade of operation of the ‘other Las Vegas’ college. In the spring of 1981, the author initially was hired as a consultant by the London office of the United World College movement to investigate the feasibility of establishing a United World College affiliate in the southwestern United States that would be subsidized by the generosity of entrepreneur-philanthropist Armand Hammer. Lockwood, who had already announced his intention to retire as President of Trinity College in Connecticut, was thus drawn into a crucial discussion that led to the approval of the American UWC and the selection of the old Montezuma Hotel property at the edge of the Pecos Wilderness as the site for the new college. Personally selected by Hammer as the first president, Lockwood led the new institution through its first decade of formation. His story, subtitled ‘A Critical Analysis,’ relates the complex and often frustrating process of creating the infrastructure for a new campus in a fairly remote location in northern New Mexico, recruiting 200 qualified students from all over the world, and assembling a faculty that could implement an innovative and challenging curriculum—in a little over a year’s time.
            “Dreams and Promises is a well-crafted, intelligent account of Lockwood’s demanding relations as chief administrator and head academic officer with the volatile founder/funder whose own expectations and personal pledges of support greatly shaped the college’s destiny. The book is thus an instructive case history of the politics of philanthropy that often occur when an institution (and its president) must depend for survival upon the good will and wisdom of a celebrity donor who does not hesitate to intervene in college business. Lacking a clear charter document, an accountable Board of Trustees, or significant independent financial resources, the college was unusually vulnerable and dependent on Hammer’s energetic good will.
            “In addition to its emphasis on the institution’s structural development, the volume is a valuable addition to the general history of higher education. It particularly illuminates the nature of the post-World War II movement to establish alternative international schools such as United World Colleges. As head of the only American UWC and acting as Hammer’s agent, Lockwood was at the center of constant UWC struggles over finances and policy decisions at both national and international levels. His narrative analysis clarifies the issues and pressures facing the World College movement as it matured and developed institutionally. The author also describes the two-year International Baccalaureate curriculum championed by the UWCs. It is clear that the college’s adaptation and refinement of the International Baccalaureate at the Montezuma site for students from over seventy countries was central to its success and integrity.
            “The story of the college’s interaction with its New Mexican culture is less satisfying. After discussion of the initial site selection and subsequent construction, there is little continuing assessment of how, if at all, the college interacted with its neighboring communities or the degree to which it may have affected education and culture in the region, or vice-versa. Nor does the volume, by design, endeavor to capture the reality of the educational institution as experienced by students, faculty, and staff.
            “In sum, Theodore Lockwood has deftly recounted the multiple, complex administrative and institutional contexts of the Armand Hammer United World College’s dynamic first decade. Dreams and Promises is a clear and cogent exposition of the exhilaration and frustration of creating a significant alternative educational institution in the postwar Southwest.
      --Charles D. Biebel, University of New Mexico, New Mexico Historical Review