DES MOINES, Iowa — Governor Robert D. Ray served as Iowa’s Governor for 14 years and Tuesday would have been his 96th birthday. Governor Reynolds proclaimed the day as Governor Robert D. Ray Day.
For Governor Robert D. Ray Day, Drake University is holding an ice cream social at the Ray Promenade.
Scott Raecker, the Executive Director of the Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University, said that younger generations can learn a lot from Governor Ray.
“I believe there is an entire generation of Iowans who do not know who Governor Ray is, the leadership he provided, and how he helped shape the state that we live in today. And it’s incumbent upon us to help elevate and share that story,” Raecker said.
Governor Ray was instrumental in starting a tradition of humanitarian projects in Iowa, notably when he visited the White House to get permission from then-President Ford to relocate Thai Dam refugees to Iowa.
Raecker said that Governor Ray’s legacy is more important now than ever.
“His living legacy is really the impact he continues to have today. Whether that’s through his initiative of Character Counts or his focus on civility on how we can disagree without being disagreeable. Certainly in a world that’s become more and more polarized, emulating people like Governor Ray that were able to cut through some of the noise and distraction, find opportunities to bring people together over common causes despite our differences, are really great attributes that all of us can learn from” Raecker said.