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Robert D. Ray Pillar of Character Award

The Robert D. Ray Awards are our organization’s highest honor and reflect former Governor Ray’s lifelong commitment to civility and character development.

The Pillar of Character Award was presented to Governor Ray in 2003 for his visionary leadership and inspiration to meet our mission as well as the exemplary character he demonstrates. The Award was then named in honor of Governor Ray as the founder and board chairman of The Ray Center.

The Ray Legacy Award
Presented to individuals who demonstrate good character and provide leadership and inspiration to meet our mission. The Robert D. Ray Legacy Award is presented at the Iowa Character Awards banquet.

  • 2017    Joy C. Corning video 
  • 2016    Jim and Patty Cownie video 
  • 2015    Rich Willis & Suku Radia  video
  • 2014    Jim Aipperspach video
  • 2013    Dr. Don Adams video
  • 2012    Dr. David Maxwell, Drake University video
  • 2011    Deb Chiodo, Cornell Elementary School  video
  • 2010    Dr. Tom Lickona & Dr. Matt Davidson, Smart & Good High Schools Report video
  • 2009    Jim Hallihan, Iowa Sports Foundation    video
  • 2008    Marvin Pomerantz, businessman & philanthropist   video
  • 2007    Bernie Saggau, Iowa High School Athletic Association   video
  • 2006    Joe D. Batten, author & leadership expert   video
  • 2005    Troyce Fisher, education leader
  • 2002    Michael Josephson, founder of CHARACTER COUNTS!
  • 2001    Jim Mayse, first principal in Iowa to implement CHARACTER COUNTS!
  • 2001    Michael Cheney, Drake University Provost


The Ray Exemplar Award
Presented to individuals who consistently demonstrate good character as a visible role model. The Robert D. Ray Exemplar Award is presented at An All-Star Evening.

  • 2017    Ashton Kutcher video
  • 2016    Casey Blake video 
  • 2015    Sandy Hatfield Clubb video
  • 2014    Dan Gable video
  • 2013    Fred Hoiberg video
  • 2012    Aaron Kampman video
  • 2011    Ed Thomas (posthumously) video
  • 2010    Dallas Clark    video (part 1) video (part 2)
  • 2009    Shawn Johnson
  • 2008    Dr. Tom Davis   video
  • 2007    Hayden Fry    video
  • 2001    Norman Borlaug
November 14, 2018