2014 Centre Associate of the Year: David F. Ray
The motto of the United States Secret Service is “Worthy of Trust and Confidence.” If you were to add the phrase “always willing to answer Centre’s call for assistance” to that motto, you would have a near perfect description of our Centre Associate of the Year for 2014.
David F. Ray, Centre Class of 1959, had a distinguished 31-year career with the United States Secret Service. Prior to joining the Secret Service, he spent five years with Reynolds Tobacco Company. Then, after his retirement in 1996, he established his own security consulting firm, which he ran until 2004, when Kentucky’s governor appointed him to serve as Inspector General of the Transportation Cabinet, a post he held until February 2012. In each of these roles, he proved himself to be worthy of trust and confidence, and our state and nation are better for his service. Our College is as well.
In 2000, he accepted the invitation to serve as volunteer security consultant to Centre for its first Vice Presidential Debate. Because of the experience and knowledge he brought to that role, he very quickly became the “go to” person for helpful information. It is no overstatement to say that the College would never have been as successful in hosting that event without the able guidance and leadership of David Ray. The success of the 2000 debate helped Centre win the opportunity to host another Vice Presidential Debate in 2012. The College asked and once again he answered the call to assist with the planning, preparation for, and execution of that event.
David began his long and distinguished career with the Secret Service in 1965 as a Special Agent in the Charlotte, North Carolina Field Office. In 1969, he transferred to the Presidential Protective Division at the White House. During his 17-year tenure in Washington, he served as liaison between the Secret Service and the U.S. Capitol, Special Agent in Charge of the Technical Security Division, and Deputy Assistant to the Director for the Office of Training. Additionally, during his career, he protected Presidents Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, the first President Bush, and President Clinton as well as other government officials, both foreign and domestic. He led the security arrangements at the 1978 Camp David Summit, at which President Carter, Israeli Prime Minister Begin, and Egyptian President Sadat achieved peace between Israel and Egypt. In 1986, he was appointed Special Agent in Charge of the Louisville Field Office, a post he held until his 1996 retirement.
David was named a Distinguished Alumnus by Centre’s Alumni Association in 2000, and in 2005, he was inducted into Athletic Hall of Fame as a member of the undefeated 1955 football team. He has subsequently served a three-year term on the Alumni Association Board of Directors.
He and his wife Pam live on a farm in Shelby County, KY, and are active in numerous church and civic organizations. They have four children, including Amy Ray Jordan ’90, and ten grandchildren.
In grateful recognition of the trust, confidence, and service that characterize his professional achievements, his service to community and nation, and his support of the work and mission of Centre College, we are pleased to recognize David F. Ray as the Centre Associate of the Year for 2014.