George and Mary Hood Award


Brian Ray accepting award from univerisity president

The George and Mary Hood Award is given in honor of the late Dr. George Hood, former dean of students, professor and director of Student Counseling Services, and his wife, the late Mary Turner Hood, a longtime assistant to President and Chancellor J. Ollie Edmunds. It is presented annually to a member or friend of the Stetson University community in recognition of his/her passion for, and commitment and contributions to, Stetson University and its core values.

See the dates below to view award recipients and their bios.

Brian Ray '91

Brian earned his undergraduate degree in Finance from Stetson University in 1991 and while at Stetson he served as Student Body Vice President during his junior year and Student Body President during his senior year. Dr. Ray received a Ph.D. and an Ed.S. in University Administration from Florida State University, a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College, and an M.B.A. from the University of Central Florida. Dr. Ray is also a graduate of Harvard University’s Management Development Program.  

Brian is currently a faculty member at the University of Florida where he serves as Director of the Poe Business Ethics Center and an Instructional Professor of Leadership and Ethics.  Dr. Ray is the Contributing Professor for the Wall Street Journal in the fields of leadership and ethics and teaches graduate-level ethics courses for the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs.  For 17 years Dr. Ray served as an Associate Dean for the University of Florida Warrington College of Business.  In that capacity he was responsible for leading a nationally-ranked undergraduate program with over 5,000 students. 

In addition to his work in higher education, Dr. Ray served 35 years in the United States Army (active, guard, and reserve) retiring as a Colonel. During his military career Dr. Ray was recognized many times for exemplary leadership. He is a recipient of the General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award, one of the Army's most prestigious honors for company-grade officers. In his final assignment Dr. Ray served as a Faculty Instructor in Leadership and Ethics for the U.S. Army War College. He also served as a Chaplain for the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Dr. Ray served three tours of active duty after the 9/11 terrorists attacks. Locations where he deployed include Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan, Kuwait, and Qatar. During his most recent deployment to Afghanistan, Dr. Ray earned a second Bronze Star Medal. 

Dr. Ray and his wife Shannon have been married twenty-eight years. They have two children, a daughter Ashley who is a senior Air Force ROTC scholarship Cadet at the University of Florida and a son David who is a sophomore at Rollins College in the “3/2” combined-degree MBA program.  

Photo of Brian Ray

  • 2022 - Savannah-Jane Griffin '07, MBA '08
  • 2021 - Jimmie Johnson '68
  • 2020 - The Honorable Luis A. Maldonado '01
  • 2019 - Nancy W. Bayless '62
  • 2018 - Gerald D. Kruhm '57, MEd '72, SPCEN '81 and Betty Furches Kruhm '59, MEd '86
  • 2017 - Steve Roy '75
  • 2016 - Luis Prats '72, JD '81
  • 2015 - Robert K. Sitler
  • 2014 - J. Hyatt Brown, Hon. '92 and Cici Brown, Hon. '07
  • 2013 - Dr. David B. Rinker '62, Hon. '07 and Dr. Leighan Rinker
  • 2012 - William Clay Henderson '77
  • 2011 - Mark Clayton Hollis* '56, Hon. '89 and Lynn Darracott Hollis
  • 2010 - Max Cleland* '64

* - Now Deceased