Brian Ray

Faculty member honored for perpetuating alma mater’s core values

Dr. Brian Ray, director of the Poe Business Ethics Center, was awarded this year’s George and Mary Hood Award by Stetson University.

The award is given in honor of the late Dr. George Hood, a professor, former dean of students and director of Student Counseling Services at Stetson University, and of his wife, the late Mary Turner Hood, a longtime assistant to President and Chancellor J. Ollie Edmunds. It is presented annually to a member or friend of the Stetson University community in recognition of their passion for, and commitment and contributions to, Stetson University and its core values.

“Receiving this award is both humbling and encouraging,” he said. “I believe there’s no greater honor than to be recognized for living out the values of an institution. Stetson University’s core values are personal growth, intellectual development and global citizenship.

“These are exactly the kinds of values I’ve worked hard to cultivate in University of Florida undergraduates for the past quarter century as well as with the U.S. Army Soldiers with whom I served for 35 years.”

Ray earned his undergraduate degree in finance from Stetson University, where he served as president of the student body and received a commission in the United States Army through ROTC. His dedication to his studies and serving his fellow students while at Stetson launched him into a lifetime and career of serving others. Now, he teaches leadership and ethics at the University of Florida, where he’s been recognized with a variety of awards. Ray has been named the Warrington College of Business Teacher of the Year and is the recipient of the Art Sandeen Award as well as the Mort Wolfson Faculty Service Award. The Sandeen award recognizes faculty whose efforts have made the university a better place for all students, and the Wolfson award recognizes a faculty member who exemplifies commitment to students through advising and teaching.

“I recall someone once saying that each of us receives and passes on an inheritance,” he said. “The inheritance may not be an accumulation of earthly possessions or acquired riches, but whether we realize it or not our choices, words, actions and values will impact someone and form the heritage we hand down. We should all strive to hand a heritage down, one person at a time, each and every day.”

“My hope is that the recognition of receiving this award encourages others to deeply explore what personal values they wish to be known for and do all that they can to live them out, especially when doing so requires deep resolve and unwavering moral courage,” he said.