Centre College names David Ray, Stephen Dexter Associate and Young Associate of the Year

Posted by Centre News in Alumni, News 04 Feb 2014

Centre College has named David Ray ’59 (above right) and Stephen Dexter ’04 (above left) the 2014 Associate and Young Associate of the Year, respectively. The College made the announcement at the Centre Associates Dinner on Jan. 31 at the Seelbach Hotel in Louisville.

Ray, a 31-year veteran of the United States Secret Service, was recognized not only for his distinguished career but also his notable service to Centre College, particularly his leadership as a volunteer security consultant during the 2000 and 2012 vice presidential debates hosted on Centre’s campus. According to Vice President for College Relations Richard Trollinger, much of the success of both events can be credited to Ray’s able guidance and valuable expertise.

“I’m not sure how we would ever have managed preparations for the vice presidential debates without the direction and hands-on assistance of David Ray,” says Trollinger. “His experience and knowledge proved enormously helpful as we carried out events of national significance, involving thousands of media representatives and candidates whose presence created security concerns. Fortunately, David was willing to give generously of his time and energy to help his alma mater set a standard for excellence in hosting a general election debate.”

Throughout his three-decade career with the Secret Service, Ray served in a number of specialized roles, including a 17-year tenure in Washington, D.C., where he acted as liaison between the Secret Service and the U.S. Capitol, Special Agent in Charge of the Technical Security Division, and Deputy Assistant to the Director for the Office of Training. He also served in the Presidential Protective Division at the White House, providing security to Presidents Johnson through Clinton, as well as other government officials, both foreign and domestic. In 1986, he returned to Kentucky to serve as Special Agent in Charge of the Louisville Field Office. Following his retirement from the Secret Service, he was appointed Inspector General of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, a post he held until February 2012.

Ray, who lives in Shelby County, Ky., with his wife, Pam, was named a Distinguished Alumnus by Centre’s Alumni Association in 2000. In 2005, he was inducted into the College’s Athletic Hall of Fame as a member of the undefeated 1955 football team. He has subsequently served a three-year term on the Centre Alumni Association Board of Directors.

The Young Associate of the Year honors recent alumni who have achieved impressive records of professional success, civic engagement and service to Centre. According to Trollinger, the College identified such a person in Dexter.

“Stephen’s infectious enthusiasm first won my admiration when, as a senior, he organized a successful student fundraising campaign anchored in the belief that students should be involved in securing the future of their college,” explains Trollinger. “Now, as an alumnus, that same level of enthusiasm continues, evidenced not only through his continued loyalty to Centre but also through his contributions to the Danville community.”

Named Danville City Attorney in 2011, Dexter exemplifies an equal measure of leadership and accomplishments across his professional and civic roles. As a partner in the Sheehan, Barnett, Dean, Pennington, Little and Dexter law firm, his dynamic community involvement also spans a number of civic boards, including the Wilderness Trace Community Foundation (chair), the Family Services Association of Danville/Boyle County and the Heart of Danville Main Street Program.  Additionally, Dexter remains actively engaged as a Centre alumnus, serving as a class correspondent, co-chair of the Young Associates and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Alumni Association.

While at Centre, Dexter was a leader in campus life, serving as Student Government president and a varsity athlete on both the football and men’s tennis teams. Among his many other campus involvements, Dexter was active in Phi Delta Theta and the Cento staff. After Centre, he obtained his law degree from the University of Louisville’s Brandeis School of Law.

Dexter lives in Danville is married to the former Stacey Schwartz ’07. They have one son, Abell Matthew.

by Amy Clark Wise