Indiana State University Newsroom

Former state senator receives University President's Award

March 2, 2015

Retired state Sen. Richard Bray of Martinsville has received the Indiana State University President's Award for Distinguished Public Service and Outstanding Achievement.

University President Dan Bradley presented the award during a dinner Feb. 19 honoring the Bray family that has produced three generations of public servants.

First presented in 1973, the award is one of Indiana State's most prestigious honors. Bray is only the 17th recipient of the prestigious award.

An Army and Indiana National Guard veteran, Bray's first elected office was as Morgan County prosecutor in 1958. He went on to serve in the Indiana House of Representatives from 1974 to 1992 and in the Indiana Senate from 1992 until his retirement in 2012. "You have been a champion for common sense public policy; you have long supported public higher education and have always understood and appreciated the unique mission of Indiana State University as we serve many first-generation college students of this state," Bradley said in presenting the award. "At Indiana State, we work hard to instill a commitment to public service in our students. We are proud to be ranked first in the nation for our service. Your own service, and that of your entire family, is inspiring to us and serves as a role model for the students who have joined us this evening."

Bray's father, William G. Gray, also served as Morgan County prosecutor and represented Indiana in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1951 to 1975. William Bray also earned a silver star for his service in World War II. Rod Bray, Richard Bray's son and grandson of William Bray, currently serves in the Indiana Senate, occupying the seat formerly held by his father.

Richard Bray's more than half-century of public service is "something that is really unheard of in the state of Indiana in this day and age," said Greg Goode, executive director of government relations at Indiana State.

While the state's founding fathers established a part-time citizen legislature, Goode noted that most members of the General Assembly actually carry the load of two full-time jobs.

"Sacrifices are made, often by the families who lend spouses and parents to the state. It is often a thankless job - usually one has to navigate the trenches of campaign life, dealing with accusations, falsehoods and the ongoing stresses of raising money to one's message out," he said. "The Bray family set the standard of taking the high road and proving that one could get elected, serve honorably and of the highest ethical standard, being positive and pro-active and doing the right thing."

Media contact and writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or