Graduating from high school at the age of 14, Richard Gray entered Bucknell in 1938. Earning degrees in English and social sciences, he was a member of Delta Sigma fraternity, the Christian Association, mixed chorus, glee club, band, orchestra, Sigma Tau Delta, Phi Eta Sigma, Phi Alpha Theta, Alpha Mu Beta, the Bucknellian, International Relations Club, and L'Agenda. He graduated from Bucknell with Phi Beta Kappa honors.
After beginning his career in advertising, he served three years in the U.S. Navy as an officer aboard the U.S.S. Somers, a destroyer on convoy duty in the North Atlantic. After World War II ended, he resumed his career, quickly rising through the ranks in the advertising business from copywriter to creative director.
His career direction took a major turn when, in 1958, he decided to enter the San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, California. Three years later, he earned his Master of Divinity degree, summa cum laude. For the next seven years, he served in the campus ministry at Portland State University in Oregon. In 1972, he earned a Ph.D. in higher education at the University of California at Berkeley.
One of his major accomplishments is the founding of World College West in 1973, an independent, accredited, international liberal arts college in Marin County, California that combines a high quality liberal arts education with significant international experiences. In starting this ambitious venture, he raised $13 million to establish the college and construct a 20-acre campus. He served as president of the college from 1973-88.
He has been a member of the governing boards of Lewis and Clark College, the San Francisco Theological Seminary, and the United Nations Association. He currently serves as the board chair of the Marin Education Fund, which awards some $2 million in scholarships each year for education and childcare.
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