Herb Juliano

Herb's Archive features a eulogy of Dave Hayes by writer Frank Graham in his column Graham's Corner
(Article provided by the University of Notre Dame Archives)



By Frank Graham


A man by the name of Dave Hayes died yesterday at his home in Manchester, Conn. He wasn't widely known among latter day Notre Dame men, yet one night some years ago Father John Cavanaugh, a former president of the university, said of him: "Whenever I hear a mention of the spirit of Notre Dame, I think of Dave Hayes. To me, Dave exemplifies to a greater degree than any other I've ever known, that spirit of which we are so proud. I was in my office one morning a few days after the opening of the Fall semester in 1916, when this boy walked in and said he'd like to register. I told him the registrar's office was down the hall and he said: "I know, Father, but I have to talk to you first. I haven't any money.'

Dave on campus in 1920. From The Dome, 1920


"I asked him where he was from and he said he was from Hartford, Conn. I asked him why he wanted to come to Notre Dame and he said: "I have heard of Knute Rockne." "Are you a football player?' I asked him. "Yes, Father, I came here because I want to get an education and play for Mr. Rockne."

"I asked to see his credits and I was gratified when I read them." Father Cavanaugh said. "He was graduated from Exeter, where he'd gone on a scholarship, and his marks were excellent. He told me he worked his way through Exeter and asked only for the same opportunity at Notre Dame. I am happy to say that he received it. He was one of the top students in every one of his classes. He won his first letter as a varsity end in 1917 and then went off to war. He was badly wounded in France and had to be carried off the hospital ship in New York in the Spring of 1919. But that Fall he returned to football and won another letter. In 1920 he won his third letter on Rock's first unbeaten team.

"He earned his way through the university by working at odd jobs, including that of tutoring students of wealthy parents. The day after he graduated, he came into my office and laid $250.00 on my desk.

"What's that for, Dave? I asked him.

"And he said: 'I'm trying to pay off a little of the great debt I owe Notre Dame. I came here broke and I'm leaving the same way. And every day has been wonderful, Father."

[Editor's note: Dave Hayes' son, David Hayes, Jr. is a noted American sculptor who graduated from Notre Dame in 1953. It is fitting that David's magnificent sculpture The Griffon is outside the Snite Museum on campus and faces the present Notre Dame Stadium. It is also just a few feet away from the Cartier Field stadium where his father played.]


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