J. D. Ross Extraordinary Service Award Recipients Honored at Board Meeting

Anthony Ray and Dr. Albert Ray, recipients of the Joliet Junior College 2011 J. D. Ross Extraordinary Service Award (ESA) were honored publicly at the September Board of Trustees meeting.
The annual J. D. Ross ESA is the highest honor bestowed by JJC and was developed by the JJC Board of Trustees to honor community members who have given outstanding service to Community College District 525.
Tony Ray, a life long resident of Joliet, graduated from JJC in ‘88 before earning a degree from DeVry Institute of Technology.  From 1988 to 1998, Ray was known as “The Voice of Joliet” while he hosted a gospel radio show on WJOL.  Throughout his 20 years at the station Ray held positions as the program director and the operations manager for parent companies. Ray is currently the Executive Director for the Forest Park Community Center, a community based organization located in the Forest Park Community on Joliet’s eastside, providing hope to disadvantaged youth through programs and services.
He is also one of the founding members of the Silver Cross Hospital Community Commission, which has provided over $700,000 in new educational scholarships, workforce development grants and support for local community agencies. 
Ray is also a founding member and current board member for Advocates United for Children and Coordinator of the 12th Judicial Circuit’s Family Violence Coordinating Council where he is a mentor to troubled youth.
In 2008, he was the Outreach and Recruitment Specialist for the JJC’s Building Workers, Constructing Lives grant program.
Ray says receiving the ESA award is an incredible honor adding how much it means to him to have had the opportunity to hear the good news from former JJC President Dr. Gena Proulx shortly before her passing.
“The last time I spoke with Gena was when she informed me I’d be receiving this award which makes it all the more special,” he says.  He adds, “J.D. Ross is a wonderful and tremendous person.  Receiving an award in his honor means a lot to me especially in light of Gena’s passing.”

Dr. Albert Ray has resided in the Joliet area for nearly 50 years.   As a volunteer and active member of his church, Grace United Methodist, he has played an instrumental role in the community.
He is currently a board member of the Will Grundy Medical Clinic, which provides free medical and dental services to individuals who do not have health insurance or the ability to pay for health care.  He is also the chair member of the Medical Advisory Committee and works with the Will-Grundy Medical Society.
Dr. Ray also served as a board member of United Way of Will County from 1982 to 1985, and was president of the board of directors of the Joliet Area Community Hospice from 1984 to 1990.
Over the years his contributions have been recognized through numerous awards including Joliet Area PTA Council Lifetime Membership Award for Community Service in 1970, Joliet and Will County Project Pride in 2004, Mark Gibson Community Leadership Award in 2005, and the Silver Cross Sehring Medal of Excellence for Outstanding Health Care service in 2008. 
“I don’t know if I deserve it, [ESA] but it sure is nice,” says Dr. Ray.  “If nothing else, I hope receiving this award can do two things—create additional PR and awareness of the Will Grundy Medical Clinic and remind us what a significant and definite advantage Mr. Ross is to the community.”
For more information and a list of past recipients, visit www.jjc.edu/info/esa.

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