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 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 each spring.
- 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
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 each summer.
- 2017 Joy 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