Raphael Smead Hays (1875-1954)

Raphael Smead Hays, 1894

Raphael Smead Hays was born on June 27, 1876 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, the son of John Hays and Jane Van Ness Smead. A sixth generation Dickinsonian, his father was a Civil War veteran and a prominent lawyer who was president of the Carlisle Deposit Bank and of the Frog, Switch, and Manufacturing Company, where he was also cofounder and chairman of the board. Raphael attended Dickinson College Preparatory School before entering the College in 1890. During his college years he focused on the study of classical arts, especially in Greek and Latin. He was an avid tennis player, worked on the Microcosm, and was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity. He graduated from Dickinson College in 1894 with a bachelor of arts degree.

Upon graduation, Hays acted for a time as secretary to President George Reed. Following a short stay in Philadelphia working for the E. T. Smith Company, he returned home to work for his father at Frog and Switch. Beginning in an entry-level position, he quickly rose through the ranks, eventually becoming superintendent and later vice president. He is credited with introducing the steel foundry to the company, which allowed it to modernize and produce a considerably greater profit. Upon his father's death he took over complete control of Frog and Switch.

Hays was a member of the College Board of Trustees from 1931 until his death in 1954. His work as a trustee included many contributions to the athletic department. A plaque honoring Hays and his son is displayed at the Dickinson College Tennis Courts.

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Dickinson College Archives
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