Over the following 11 years as Director, Gen. Hawley played a key role in developing policies and programs that still influence the College today. One of the biggest challenges when Hawley first came to the College was the difficulty with the administration of the Hospital Standardization program. The College couldn't afford to keep it running, but its role in maintaining minimum quality standards in U.S. hospitals was vital. After negotiations with multiple other organizations—including the American Hospital Association, American College of Physicians, and the American Medical Association—a decision was made to create a joint commission in which finances, roles, and responsibilities were shared by the four organizations.4 The Joint Commission is now an independent, not-for-profit organization that still evaluates and accredits more than 20,000 health care organizations and programs throughout the U.S.5
Gen. Hawley's focus on furthering the College's mission was also evident in his incorporation of new technologies. The College was able to take these new technologies and transform Clinical Congress, the yearly membership meeting. Learning experiences at Clinical Congress were improved dramatically with the introduction of closed-circuit television, cinematography, and motion pictures.
Gen. Hawley's tenure also coincided with a period of staff growth, which resulted in the need for a larger headquarters in Chicago. As the director, he was heavily involved in finding a new space. Along with Loyal Davis, MD, FACS, and the newly created Building Committee of the Board of Regents, 55 East Erie Street—directly opposite the then current headquarters building—was identified as an ideal location. Plans were approved in 1959, and groundbreaking started in 1961, the year Gen. Hawley retired.
Gen. Hawley's legacy still lives on throughout the College, not only through initiatives he led during his time as director, but also through continued education. In 1965, the Hawley Fund was established through a donation by Gen. Hawley's estate after his death. This donation helped fund the initial International Guest Scholarships program that is still going strong today. His passion to help young surgeons and improve the health care industry were important factors in his successful leadership of the American College of Surgeons and contributed to a lasting legacy.