Jesuit Father William E. Hayes died on Sept. 26, 2017 at the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, California. He was 89 years old.
Fr. Hayes was a fixture at Jesuit High School in Portland for 32 years where he served as vice principal, president, trustee, chancellor, planned giving director, and chaplain.
In his youth, Fr. Hayes aspired to a vocation which would enable him to “be closer to God” and to help young people. When he entered the Society of Jesus in 1945, he started down a path toward realizing his dream. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree from Gonzaga University in 1951, Fr. Hayes began teaching English, Latin, and religion at Marquette High School in Yakima, Washington.
Upon being ordained a Jesuit priest and receiving his Master’s in Theology, Fr. Hayes arrived at Jesuit High School in 1960 as the new vice principal. In 1962, he was transferred to Gonzaga Prep where he began a 14-year career (first as principal, then as president-principal). In 1976, his final year at Gonzaga Prep, he successfully led the school’s transition to coeducation. Fr. Hayes next served as vice president at Seattle University and served briefly on Jesuit High School’s Board of Trustees. Following his time at Seattle University, Fr. Hayes completed two years as pastor of St. Joseph’s Parish in Seattle. Fr. Hayes became the president of Jesuit High School during the summer of 1984. In 1985 and for the next six years, he also assumed the role of superior of the Jesuits at Jesuit High School.
During a difficult economic climate in the early 1980s that nearly caused the school to close its doors, Fr. Hayes successfully transitioned Jesuit to coeducation in 1993. From 1998 (when he resigned as president) to 2005, Fr. Hayes was Chancellor at Jesuit. Beginning in 2004, he became the Planned Giving Director and school Chaplain. Fr. Hayes also founded and cultivated the Legacy Club, a group of 288 individuals who include Jesuit in their estate plans, thereby ensuring the fiscal future and longevity of the school.
Fr. Hayes retired from his position as Jesuit High School’s Planned Giving Director in January 2012 and remained at Jesuit to assist with the school community’s spiritual needs. In 2014, he went to live at the Jesuit House in Spokane, Washington, and finally to the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, California, where he spent his final years.