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Ray Named Business Department Distinguished Alumnus

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Alumni Hero
By Madeline Watson

Lee University honored its distinguished alumni this year by presenting awards to individuals from each department. The honoree chosen for the business department was Mr. Barry Ray.

“Mr. Ray is the epitome of a distinguished alumnus,” said Dr. Dewayne Thompson, chairperson and professor of business administration at Lee. “He maintains faithful support and involvement with his alma mater. His accomplishments include a stellar career as a corporate executive, a successful entrepreneur, consistent family man, and demonstrated faithfulness in his Christian commitment.”

Ray currently chairs the Business Advisory Council for the Lee University Department of Business.

Ray graduated from Lee University in 1981 with a degree in business. Throughout college, he held multiple positions at the Holiday Inn South Cleveland, and continued working there after graduation as a hotel manager.

In 1988, Ray made a career transition to work at Life Care Centers of America, the nation's largest privately held senior housing provider, where he worked for 14 years. During the last several years of his tenure with Life Care, Barry served as President of American Lifestyles, Inc., the assisted living subsidiary of Life Care.

In 2002, he left Life Care to form Vision SeniorCare Partners, the predecessor of Legacy Senior Services, which is a management organization specializing in independent and assisted living facilities. Currently, Ray and his business partner Bryan Cook, also a Lee graduate, own and operate four assisted living buildings in the southeast through Legacy Senior Services.

Ray is a member of the Westmore Church of God, where he is involved in many areas of service, leading Sunday school class, serving on the global missions team, working in the nursery, and serving on the pastor’s council and the church property development teams.

Ray and his wife Iris currently reside in Cleveland, Tenn. They have three children. Brooke, a Lee education department alumna, is married to Chris Schelich, a Lee theology alumnus and graduate student. Blake is a senior accounting and psychology double major at Lee, and Christina is a sophomore communications major at Lee.

The award was presented during a departmental breakfast at Lee’s Homecoming on Nov. 2.


Pictured here is Thompson, right, presenting the award to Ray.