Francis Xavier Hayes (College + HGSE)
Francis Xavier Hayes (College + HGSE) is a Cantab native. While at the Ed School, he served on the Community Committee that sponsored the Cambridge Common Concerts, a showcase for the early careers of such as James Taylor, Joan Baez and the Allman Brothers. The Concerts were a near decade-long series ( 60s to mid 70s ) of free open-air live rock and folk music Sunday Concerts.
As the elected Chair of Cambridge’s Model Cities Program he founded the Cambridge Community Learning Center and organized the nation’s first HUD-approved “Great Society“ Housing Community Development Corporation in cooperation with the Harvard Graduate School of Design and MIT’s Department of Architecture. Together they succeeded in engineering and deploying a modular system of urban infill modular housing which saw widespread use in the US and globally.
More recently, having co-located to Savannah, Ga he was tapped to serve as International Chairman of The Pulaski Jubilee for which he was honored with a Cavalier Cross by Poland’s President, Aleksander Kwasniewski. The Jubilee, from 2000 to 2005, facilitated the over 2 Century delayed funeral for Brig. General Count Casimir Pulaski, “Father Of The American Cavalry,“ when remains, interred in Savannah, were identified as being his, but absent confirming DNA evidence.
However, since recent DNA work has proven same are truly Pulaski’s, Francis now heads the planning and organizational efforts for international observances of same attached to the upcoming Lafayette Bicentennial in 2024 & 2025. By way of linkage, General Marquis de Lafayette laid the cornerstone for Savannah’s Pulaski Monument in 1825. Pulaski and Lafayette were friends during their military careers serving under George Washington.
For his work producing Pulaski related observances, Francis was also named an “Amicus Poloniae Laureate“ by Poland’s Ambassador to the US, Janus Reiter. Other honorific awards for his civic and cultural leadership efforts include those granted by The Dante Alighieri Society of Massachusetts and the Sons Of The American Revolution.
Engaged civically, he recruited and engaged both Charles W. Eliot II, Landscape Architect at the Design School, and The Arnold Arboretum ‘s Gordon P. Dewolf in launching Cambridge’s first ever lower income neighborhood street and park mass planting of specimen size trees. He then joined with feminist Ramona Barth, actor Lori James, R. Buckminster Fuller and others in establishing Maine’s Margaret Fuller Foundation.
While resident in Cambridge, he also restored the Timothy Fuller (father of 19th century feminist Margaret) House. That personal interest in historic preservation contributed to his being appointed a member of the Cambridge Historical Commission’s “Architectural Survey,“ Cambridgeport Advisory Committee. A movie he scripted / co-produced and narrated about innovative program solutions to urban community development challenges “The Cambridge Model“ premiered at MIT’s Kresge Auditorium’s Little Theatre.
Other film involvements include his collaboration with Norman Mailer on his now cult status movie, “Tough Guys Don’t Dance!” which starred Ryan O’Neal and Isabella Rossellini. Francis’ Provincetown, Cape Cod residence was the location for much of the film, as was Norman’s after its furnishing by Francis. Francis was invited by Dean Krister Stendhal to serve as a member of the Harvard Divinity School Planning Committee. He’s also been a featured speaker at the Harvard Extension’s Annual Visiting Committee Dinner.
As Special Assistant to the Cambridge City Manager, James Sullivan, he led and facilitated responses to university-sourced requests for municipal mentors. At Harvard these included The College and Law, Education, Design, Business, Public Health, Engineering Government and Divinity Schools. In certain instances he served as a mentor himself solo, or in cooperation with other Harvard Alumni. For example, he partnered with Alumnus Ralph Hoagland, Founder of CVS, to help students jointly enrolled at both the Law and Business Schools. Ralph’s other passion was film. He established and long run Cambridge’s Orson Wells Cinema.
Francis is now actively engaged professionally in film and digital media development in both the US and internationally (Ireland, Poland & Hong Kong / Greater Bay China) , especially opportunities with a governmental production incentive utilization focus. Besides being a Harvardwood Chapter Head, he’s the Founding President Emeritus of The Harvard Club of Savannah and Coastal Georgia. On the MIT front Francis maintains long-nurtured working associations with the Venture, now Enterprise / “E“ Forum whose creation he assisted. Likewise with the School of Architecture and Planning.