WORCESTER, Mass. - March 20, 2009 - Francis S. Harvey ’37, an emeritus member of Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s (WPI) Board of Trustees, died yesterday, March 19, at the age of 94. Harvey received a degree in civil engineering from WPI with distinction. He founded Harvey & Tracy Associates Inc., a Worcester-based engineering and architectural firm, in 1946; he was still serving as chairman of the company at the time of his death. At the height of his career, Harvey became well-known for his leadership in revising the Worcester, Boston and state building codes and is widely credited for providing greater protection for the public by establishing a uniformity of regulations statewide.
“Fran was most proud of his professional accomplishments surrounding the evolvement of building codes and building material regulations,” said his son Francis Stephen Harvey Jr. “He co-authored the 1970 Boston Building Code, which was the last code before the state codes were implemented. He served on the State Building and Safety Code Board.”
Harvey was first elected to the WPI Board of Trustees in 1966 and had been a longtime member of the university’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Advisory Board, serving as recently as the current academic year. In addition to his service on WPI boards, Harvey was active in the WPI Alumni Association, having served as president of that group, chairman of the Traditions Committee, and member of the association’s Executive Committee. He also served as a member of the President’s Advisory Council. In 1973 Harvey received WPI’s Herbert F. Taylor Alumni Award for Distinguished Service, and in 1986 WPI awarded him an honorary doctor of engineering degree.
“He developed lasting friendships through his many involvements with the school and with Phi Kappa Theta fraternity,” Francis Stephen Harvey Jr. added.
“Trustees, faculty, and staff of Worcester Polytechnic Institute join the family of Francis S. Harvey Sr. ’37 in mourning his death and celebrating his life,” said WPI President and CEO Dennis D. Berkey. “For many years he served with distinction and deep loyalty as a trustee and trustee emeritus, his leadership and passion centered on the development of our beautiful campus. Even throughout his final years he brought keen insights and deep loyalty to bear on helping WPI achieve its full potential. A model engineer, entrepreneur, business and civic leader, and gentleman, Fran Harvey was and continues to be an inspiration to us all.”
Outside of Harvey & Tracy Associates and WPI, Harvey dedicated much of his time to his family, the city of Worcester, and his church. In addition to raising five children with his first wife, Genevieve, Harvey served as a director of the Catholic Charities Housing Corporation, Providence House Nursing Home, St. Vincent Hospital Research Foundation, and St. Vincent Health Services; he also served on the advisory board for Marillac Manor (a home for unwed mothers).
He was a trustee of the St. Vincent Hospital Corporation, St. Vincent Healthcare Systems, Inc., Notre Dame Academy, the Knights of Columbus and the St. Agnes Guild Corp. Harvey also served as a corporator and as chairman of Bay State Savings Bank. He was the president of Worcester Taxpayers Association, director of the Citizen’s Plan E Association, and co-chairman of the City Manager’s Building Code Revision Committee. He was also a member of the Economic Club of Worcester, the Worcester Club (beginning in 1977), the First Friday Club of Worcester, the Emerald Club of Worcester, the Boy Scouts of America, and the American Red Cross.
His passion for engineering was evident to his peers; Harvey served as the president of the Worcester Society of Civil Engineers for the Worcester Engineering Society, the national director for the American Concrete Institute, director of the Boston Chapter of Construction Specifications, and director of the National Society of Professional Engineers. He was a life-member and fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Boston Society of Civil Engineers; National Society of Professional Engineers; Joint Professional Conduct Committee--ASCE, BSCE and MSPE; Mass. Society of Professional Engineers; National Fire Prevention Association; National Forest Products Association; The Newcomen Society of the United States; NY Academy of Science.
Harvey was the son of Irish immigrants Francis and Annie (Murrihy) Harvey.
“He was most proud of his family and his heritage,” said Francis Stephen Harvey Jr. “Fran’s mother immigrated to America from Ireland in the early 1900’s. When she came to Worcester, her first job was working at the President of WPI’s residence. Fran received many awards in his lifetime, but one he was most proud of was the Shillelagh Award from the Emerald Club in 1986.”
Francis S. Harvey is survived by his two daughters, Elizabeth and Mary Jane, and two of his sons, Francis Stephen Jr. and John, as well as seven grandchildren. He was predeceased by his first wife, Genevieve Fanning in 1989, his second wife, Pauline Shields Harvey in 2001, and his son Paul in 1994.