Union College is known for creating leaders. Dr. Dennis Ray’s career is proof of that. Now preparing to teach leadership in Union’s new master’s program, Ray hopes to help students find the natural leader within themselves while sharing his own, unique leadership experience.
Ray’s career began in the corporate world, then moved to ministry, giving him insight into leadership in two very different communities. After graduating from Union in 1990 with a bachelor’s in business administration, he worked as a project leader for Hewlett-Packard (now known as HP) for seven years. Eventually, Ray felt called to ministry. He earned his Master of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary and served as a pastor for 19 years. “Having worked in both the corporate and ministerial worlds, I hope to teach students what I have learned,” he said. Ray also holds a master’s human development and has most recently completed his doctorate in leadership. His dissertation was on how leaders transition out of organizational settings.
Outside of his profession, Ray loves spending time with his family. “I have a wife and two sons,” he said. “I also like to exercise, usually at the gym or on a bicycle. I particularly enjoy watching my favorite sports teams: the San Francisco 49ers, the San Francisco Giants, and the Golden State Warriors.” Part of his family is well-known in the Union College community — his father, Dr. Larry Ray, taught mathematics at the college for many years.
Ray is excited to see how the new program will benefit students. “Students instinctively want to lead but don’t always have the necessary skills. The new program will help them know themselves better as a leader. It will also help them to know the blindspots that get in the way and to take them to the next level in their ability to lead.”
“I went to Union,” he said. “This opportunity means coming full circle. I have always been passionate about leadership, and I can’t wait to help shape the next generation of leaders.”
by Evan Majors, junior English and communication major