Frank J. Hayden

Frank J. Hayden

Doctor of Civil Law

After graduating from the University of Western Ontario with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1955, Dr. Hayden moved to the University of Illinois in Urbana and three years later, received a Master of Science degree followed in 1962 by a Ph.D. degree.

Professor emeritus at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, Dr. Hayden has also served on the faculties of the University of Toronto and the University of Western Ontario. From 1975 to 1981, he was Director of the School of Physical Education and Athletics at McMaster. He has a special interest in sport and fitness programs for children, particularly for those classified as developmentally disabled.

A graduate of the University of Illinois? Physical Fitness Research Laboratory, he has spent over 40 years designing and evaluating exercise and sport programs. In 1966, he co-authored the first national study of the fitness of Canadian children, a project which involved 11,000 boys and girls from coast to coast and provided the basis for the Centennial fitness Program and later, the Canada Fitness Awards. He also co-developed and co-authored the R.C.A.F.?s famous 5BX Program.

For seven years, Dr. Hayden served as a Director at the Kennedy Foundation in Washington, D.C. His work there ranged from developing new concepts in playground design to establishment of federal legislation to assist the disabled. Perhaps his most significant accomplishment was the creation and development of ?Special Olympics?. This program of sport training and competition for people with a mental handicap currently involves 1.2 million participants in 150 countries. The tenth World Summer Games were held in June, 1999, in North Carolina, USA, and involved 7,000 competitors from those countries. 2000 athletes from 60 countries competed in the Seventh World Winter Games in Anchorage, Alaska, in March of 2001.

From 1981 to 1984, Dr Hayden took leave from McMaster to establish the Special Olympics? Office of International Development, and served as its first Director. He designed and directed international growth of the program from 15 national organizations to 50. His travels have taken him across Europe, South and Central America, Asia and the South Pacific, Africa and the Middle East, North America and the Caribbean.

In 1988, Dr Hayden took early retirement from McMaster and moved to Paris to establish and direct the Office of European Affairs for Special Olympics International. In the two years which followed, 13 new national organizations were created in Europe, making a total of 30, stretching from Moscow to Reykjavik and Oslo to Nicosia. A total of 2,300 athletes from those countries competed at the European Summer Games in Glasgow, Scotland, in July, 1990.

The Paris Office became the focal point of promotion, communication, and technical assistance for sport training and competition for the mentally handicapped in Europe. In October, 1990, Dr. Hayden turned over the office and European affairs to European personnel and returned to Canada. From 1994 to 2000, he served as Special Consultant to Canadian Special Olympics. He currently works as a private consultant and lecturer and as a Citizenship Judge for Citizenship & Immigration Canada.

In December, 1994, citing ?his outstanding and lasting contributions to the lives of people with mental handicap through sport?, Maclean?s magazine named Dr. Hayden to its Honor Roll of 12 Outstanding Canadians.

In 1996, Dr. Hayden was the recipient of the prestigious Royal Bank Award for ?Canadians who have mane an important contribution to human welfare and the common good?.

In March, 1997, as part of its 200th Anniversary celebration, The Toronto Eaton Centre included Dr. Hayden among the distinguished group of individuals they honoured for having achieved excellence in their fields and for having made substantial contributions to the civic life in Toronto. That same month, he was made an Honorary and Permanent Member of the Canadian Olympic Association.

On April 22, 1997, Dr. Hayden was introduced in the Canadian House of Commons in Ottawa and honoured at a Parliamentary reception hosted by the Speaker. Later that year, he was presented with the Alumni Community Service Award by the University of Western Ontario Alumni Association. He was awarded the honorary degree, Doctor of Laws, by McMaster University in 1997, the University of Calgary in 1988 and the University of Toronto in 1999. Also in 1999, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.

In retirement, Dr. Hayden serves as a Citizenship Judge in Hamilton, Ontario.