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RDRIt is with a heavy heart that we share that Robert D. Ray passed away July 8, 2018. Governor Ray proudly served as Iowa’s 38th governor and, later in his career, as the 11th president of Drake University, from April 1998 to May 1999. He received his B.A. in business from Drake in 1952, and his juris doctorate from Drake Law School in 1954.

Governor Ray is survived by his beloved wife, Billie, three daughters and eight grandchildren.  Click here to read Governor Ray's biography.

Do you have a story to share about Governor Ray?  We'd love to hear it. 

Iowans who are interested in paying their respects to former Governor Ray and his family are encouraged to come to the State Capitol on Thursday, July 12 where Governor Ray will Lie in State.

The official ceremony will be coordinated by a joint Honor Guard of the Iowa State Patrol, Iowa National Guard, and Des Moines Police.

There will be a brief ceremony scheduled for 5:00 pm when Mrs. Ray and the family will be in attendance along with Governor Reynolds, former Governors and First Spouses.

Following the ceremony the public will be able to pay their respects until 8:30 pm.


Formerly named Character Counts In Iowa, The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University is dedicated to improving civility and developing ethical leaders throughout the world.  

Built on the cornerstone of the Six Pillars of CHARACTER COUNTS!, The Ray Center helps create strong, vibrant communities that value positive, healthy relationships and respectful behavior.  Through public awareness and programming grounded in research, The Ray Center provides character and leadership development strategies from:

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CHARACTER COUNTS! is a trademark of the Josephson Institute of Ethics.  Excellence with Integrity trademark of the Institute for Excellence & Ethics.

July 12, 2018
July 10, 2018