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Dr. Franklin N. Caesar '72 Conference Room Dedicated

On Monday, December 6, the Xavier community dedicated the Dr. Franklin N. Caesar '72 Conference Room in the Sons of Xavier Center, honoring the longtime English teacher, Higher Achievement Program director, and assistant headmaster and recognizing the transformational impact he had on generations of Sons of Xavier in the decades he spent on 16th Street.

Dr. Caesar is known to many as a teacher, mentor, family man, and a man for others. For decades, he has been a source of wise counsel and mentorship for generations of Sons of Xavier, particularly students of color.

“When I was a student, Dr. Caesar was more than an administrator or a teacher—for me, he modeled excellence and accountability,” said Director of Alumni Relations Zane Massey '96 P'22. "Virtually, at every reunion, at least one Xavier alumnus approaches me with a story about how Dr. Caesar changed or saved their life.”

The dedication of this room followed September’s blessing and dedication of the Sons of Xavier Center in honor of Rev. John Courtney Murray, S.J. 1920 and the Col. Donald G. Cook, USMC '52 library, as well as the dedication and blessing of the Faith and E. Peter Corcoran '46† Family Room in the Sons of Xavier Center.

The revitalized Center is in grateful recognition of James B. (Jim) Haybyrne '62 and Penny Lii Haybyrne for their generosity and vision that brought the Center to life.

Each room in the Sons of Xavier Center was curated with the intention of reminding students of the legacies of each of these men.

“When they [students] learn of Courtney Murray’s dedication to religious freedom and his place as a renown theologian, we hope they learn the importance of scholarship and of dedication to principles,” said Director of Development Mark Mongelluzzo P'25. “When they learn of Cook’s heroism as a POW, we hope they realize the importance of courage and determination. When they learn of the love and generosity of Peter and Faith Corcoran, we hope they learn the importance of family and gratitude.”

The dedication of this conference room honors Dr. Caesar’s legacy in a similar way—a visible way.

“When they learn of the impact of Dr. Caesar, we hope they never forget the importance of teachers and of mentors,” Mongelluzzo added.

This room also acts as the final room to complete the puzzle of the Sons of Xavier Center.

“Over many months of planning for the Sons of Xavier Center, we had many conversations about families in the lives of Xavier students; the fraternal bonds that develop between Xavier’s Sons; the importance of leadership; and the essential role excellent teaching plays in a Xavier education,” said President Jack Raslowsky P'16. “The Haybyrnes wanted this space that spoke to Xavier’s values and the experience generations of students have shared. They wanted it to be a place of significance. In all he has done at Xavier and beyond, Franklin Caesar has made these desires real.”

At the dedication, Caesar reflected on his time at Xavier, as well as his own personal experiences.

“I did the best I could every day,” Caesar reflected. “I prayed that God would bless me and give me the strength and courage throughout the day to be a positive person in the lives of students I encountered. There were good days and bad days. … Xavier gave me the opportunity to grow from a young boy, looking for direction, to a man of God—making decisions that affected the lives of these young men.”

To view photos from the dedication, click here.