Inside Iowa State

Inside Archives

Submit news

Send news for Inside to, or call (515) 294-7065. See publication dates, deadlines.

About Inside

Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

Dec. 8, 2006

Ray to receive honorary degree

by Anne Krapfl

An estimated 1,638 students will receive degrees and former Gov. Robert D. Ray will receive an honorary degree from Iowa State during winter commencement events Dec. 15-16.

At the undergraduate graduation ceremony Saturday, Dec. 16, Ray will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters from Iowa State in recognition of "an extraordinary career of leadership and public service." The ceremony begins at 1:30 p.m. in Hilton Coliseum.

Ray was first elected governor of Iowa in 1968. He served five terms (three 2-year terms and two 4-year terms). He is the founder and current chairman of the Des Moines-based Institute for Character Development.

Ray also will give the address at the undergraduate ceremony. An estimated 1,329 students will receive bachelor's degrees this semester.

During a Friday evening ceremony, an estimated 206 master's and 103 Ph.D. candidates will receive their degrees. The ceremony begins at 8 p.m. at Stephens Auditorium. Professor of biomedical sciences (College of Veterinary Medicine) and of health and human performance, and former vice provost for research and advanced studies Jim Bloedel will give the address.

Some of the colleges also will host receptions or ceremonies for their graduating students on Friday or Saturday.

Ray's leadership

During Ray's tenure as governor, the voting age was lowered from 21 to 19 years, the Commission on the Status of Women and the Department of Environmental Quality were created, and Iowa's "bottle bill" was enacted. Ray was a national leader in the resettlement of refugees from Southeast Asia. Following his career as governor, Ray served as president and CEO of Life Investors Inc. (now known as AEGON Inc.), president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa, and president of Drake University (1998). He also was interim mayor of Des Moines for six months in 1997.

A native of Des Moines, Ray earned a B.A. (1952) in business and J.D. (1954), both from Drake University.

Fall Commencement Events

Dec. 15-16

Friday, December 15

  • 2-4 p.m., Reception, for graduating international students (graduate and undergraduate), refreshments and music, Cardinal Room, MU, 4-0378.
  • 4 p.m., Ceremony, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, for undergraduate students in the Honors Program or graduating with distinction, Benton Auditorium, Scheman, 4-7742.
  • 4:30 p.m., Ceremony, College of Human Sciences, for undergraduate students (6 p.m. reception in Scheman first floor lobby for undergraduate and graduate students), Stephens, 4-7002.
  • 5-7 p.m., Ceremony, College of Business, for undergraduate and graduate students, Hilton, 4-2422.
  • 5:30-7 p.m., Recognition program, College of Engineering, for graduate students, 220 Scheman, 4-8857.
  • 8 p.m., Commencement, for all graduate students, tickets not needed, Stephens, 4-9372.

Saturday, December 16

  • 9:30-10:30 a.m., Recognition programs, College of Engineering (by department), for undergraduate students, continental breakfast at 9 a.m., various Scheman rooms and Hilton, 4-8857.
  • 9:30 a.m., Ceremony, College of Agriculture, for undergraduate students, 8:30 a.m. reception, Stephens, 4-2766.
  • 10 a.m., Ceremony, College of Design, for undergraduate students, 9:30 a.m. reception, Lightfoot Forum, Design Center, 4-7428.
  • 1:30 p.m., Commencement, for all undergraduate students, tickets not needed, Hilton, 4-9372.
Robert Ray

Robert D. Ray


Former Gov. Robert D. Ray will address an estimated 1,329 undergraduates receving their degrees Dec. 16 in Hilton Coliseum.