Shortly after Maria Dominguez Gray took the helm at the Phillips Brooks House Association, the organization for undergraduate volunteer opportunities at Harvard, two students came up with the idea of launching an overnight shelter for homeless youth.
Dominguez Gray, who had been a deputy director for the Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA) for 12 years, wanted to support the students, but finding a location was proving difficult. Like other times when she needed advice, she turned to Frank Duehay ’55, who was on the PBHA’s board of trustees and had become a cherished mentor.
Known as “Mr. Cambridge” for having served on the Cambridge City Council for nearly 36 years, including three terms as mayor, Duehay threw all his support behind Dominguez Gray and the project. In December 2015, Y2Y Harvard Square, a student-run overnight shelter, opened in the basement of the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Cambridge.
“Frank was the true embodiment of service and love,” said Dominguez Gray, PBHA Class of 1955 Executive Director. “He was so dedicated to his hometown of Cambridge and the student leaders, and he truly believed in PBHA’s mission of students and community members partnering to meet the most pressing needs in Greater Boston and make this world a better place.”
Duehay, 87, died Nov. 20 at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center of acute leukemia, but his legacy will be remembered at Harvard and beyond. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English, he later earned a master’s degree in teaching the subject and a doctorate in education from the Graduate School of Education. Teaching and public service were his passions.
At Harvard, Duehay served as both acting director of admissions and assistant dean in the Graduate School of Education. He received the Harvard Alumni Association Award in 2006.