The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center

About The Ray Center


The Ray Center strives to improve civility through character development and ethical leadership.


Our vision is to transform lives and strengthen communities by equipping individuals and communities with strategies to practice good character by demonstrating trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and good citizenship.


The Ray Center honors two of Drake University’s most respected alumni—Robert D. and Billie Ray—whose humanitarian efforts, character, and leadership set an inspirational example for generations. 

Programs and Services

Through public awareness and programming grounded in research, The Ray Center helps create strong, vibrant communities that value positive, healthy relationships and respectful behavior. Our initiatives benefit people of all ages and are easily adaptable for families, schools, workplaces, athletic teams and organizations, and more.

We help our clients shape their organization’s culture through professional development, assessments, resources, and on-going consultation that focuses on values-based education and best practices in character development. 


As the global home to CHARACTER COUNTS!, our instruction is inspired by the Six Pillars of Character – trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. Research-based strategies from our partners at the Excellence with Integrity Institute supplement the CHARACTER COUNTS! framework to help your school or organization practice character skills and shape a positive culture. 

Learn More About Our Impact

PK-12 Education

Schools see improvements in academics, social-emotional skills, character, and leadership.

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Teams gain a competitive edge when athletes have strong personal character.

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Companies can improve their culture by applying our research-based programming to support their mission, vision, and values. 

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Families impact kids’ character by being good role models who teach values and good decision-making.

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Public Service

We provide public servants with ethical leadership and civility strategies to create a positive and meaningful organizational culture.

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Our policing initiative provides agencies with practical strategies to enhance institutional effectiveness and credibility. 

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Support Our Mission

Students, teachers, families, and public leaders tell us about the positive outcomes our programs and outreach are having on their lives.

The immense value of our work is affirmed by these stories.

Your investment in The Ray Center has a direct impact on our ability to transform lives and strengthen communities.

Character counts students