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Alan RayAlan Ray and Franz Vaiarello '74Alan Ray
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Professor Alan Ray brings humor and compassion to lifelong relationships with students and alumni

Alan Ray, assistant professor of Communication, came to Pacific in 1987. He says his commitment to his students grew out of the compassion he had for them personally. Each and every student has a different story and he loves to hear them and learn about the challenges each student faces, not only in the classroom but in their lives. 

"During the course of creating opportunities and possibilities in media fields, Dr. Ray has developed deep, lasting relationships with his students," said Qingwen Dong, chair of the Communication Department in the College of the Pacific. "They become more than just alumni; they become lifelong colleagues and friends."

Arabella di Bagno Guidi '05, nominated Ray because of his commitment and neverending mentoring of his students and alumni.

"He listens to his students and adjusts his curriculum to meet our interests and needs." — Arabella di Bagno Guidi '05

Ray says he is able to learn something new with each student, about their background, their needs, and the issues they deal with day to day. He lets students into his life, sharing with them his help and possible solutions to some of their problems. He has even shared his home on occasion.

"Mentoring is what makes the job interesting." — Alan Ray, professor of Communication

Now he is helping his current students learn to network with his former students, Pacific alumni whom he continues to mentor long after graduation. Alumni are providing some of the most powerful mentoring experiences to current students. Ray estimates that he is personally in touch with as many as 100 alumni in various entertainment, news and public relations positions and he does not hesitate to put his students in touch with them.

He says one of the most rewarding relationships he's had with his students was through the Guild Internship Program. From 1992 to 2009 Ray and former Regent Ralph Guild '50 operated a summer internship program that allowed Pacific students to work and live in New York City. The 18 alumni who had that internship experience are working successfully in communication careers today. And he is still in close contact with them to this day.

Ray is also a comedian and had a successful joke-writing service for many years that was, at one time, serving more than 100 morning radio-shows throughout the country. He still gives the gift of laughter to students and colleagues, posting a new joke every day on his Facebook page. On the occasion of her recent induction into the Pacific Athletic Hall of Fame, Heather Cox '92 noted, "Dr. Ray still makes me laugh every day."