About The Ray Center

Stand for what is right.

The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center provides character and leadership development strategies to improve civility and develop ethical leaders throughout the world.  

Through public awareness and programming grounded in research, The Ray Center features two programs, CHARACTER COUNTS! and Excellence with Integrity.  Our initiatives benefit people of all ages and are easily adaptable for families, schools, workplaces, and athletic teams and organizations.

Founded in 1997 as a legacy of Iowa’s Sesquicentennial, and led by former Governor Robert D. Ray, Character Counts In Iowa (CCII) began as a non-profit organization housed at Drake University with a mission to improve civility through character development.  A key partnership with CHARACTER COUNTS!, the nation’s largest character development framework, helped CCII become a national model in fostering community-wide character development. 

Through a strategic collaboration to expand its impact and ensure the legacy of its mission, the CCII Board and the Drake University Board of Trustees came together in January 2015 to transform CCII into The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University.  As an integral part of Drake University, The Ray Center serves as a local, regional, national and global resource in the areas of leadership, ethics and civility.

The Ray Center honors two of Drake’s most respected alumni—Robert D. and Billie Ray—whose humanitarian efforts, character and leadership set an inspirational example for multiple generations.



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