WILLIAM H. GRAY, III
President and Chief Executive Officer
The College Fund/United Negro College Fund
Link to High Resolution (300dpi) Photo of William H. Gray, III
William H. Gray, III, has been president and chief executive officer of The College Fund/UNCF since September 11, 1991. As head of America's oldest and most successful black higher education assistance organization, Mr. Gray has led the United Negro College Fund to new fund-raising records while cutting costs and expanding programs and services.
Approximately one-half of the more than $1.6 billion raised in UNCF's 56-year history has been collected during Mr. Gray's tenure - the cost ratio was only 12.11 percent of total revenues, 4.2 percent for administrative costs and 7.9 percent for fundraising.
Among the dramatic initiatives launched under Mr. Gray's leadership are: staff restructuring and relocation of The College Fund's headquarters to the Northern Virginia area, to further improve efficiency; development of a new technology center to link UNCF offices and member colleges electronically to facilitate sharing of scholarship and donor information; the development of the Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute to compile and analyze data on a host of issues affecting African American students from kindergarten through graduate school, and the successful completion of a $280 million capital campaign.
Prior to his selection as president of UNCF, Mr. Gray served in the U.S. Congress and was a staunch supporter of education. As the first African American to chair the House Budget Committee, Mr. Gray was a leading advocate for strengthening America's educational systems. As chairman of the Democratic Caucus and later as Majority Whip, Mr. Gray was the highest-ranking African American ever to serve in Congress.
Elected to the House of Representatives in 1978, Mr. Gray left his mark on Congress in many other areas. He played a key role in implementing economic sanctions against South Africa as the author of the 1985 and 1986 sanction bills. As Budget Committee Chairman for four years, Mr. Gray earned a reputation as a consensus builder and was chief point man in budget negotiations between Congress and the Reagan Administration.
Mr. Gray has also served as special advisor to the President on Haiti in May 1994. In that role, which concluded in September 1994, Mr. Gray assisted the President in developing and carrying out policy to restore democracy to Haiti. In 1995, Mr. Gray received the Medal of Honor from Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
The heir to a legacy of education leaders, his father, the late Dr. William H. Gray, Jr., served as president of two black colleges, Florida A&M University and Florida Memorial College. His mother was a dean of a Black college and his grandfather was a professor at a Black college, as is his sister currently.
Mr. Gray's own background in education is extensive. He has been a faculty member and professor of history and religion at St. Peter's College, Jersey City State College, Montclair State College, Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Temple University.
Hailing from a family of ministers as well as educators, Mr. Gray has been pastor of the 5,000-member Bright Hope Baptist Church in Philadelphia for more than 25 years, as were his father and grandfather before him. He has been in the ministry since 1964, when he pastored his first church, Union Baptist Church of Montclair, New Jersey.
Mr. Gray attended Franklin and Marshall College, where he earned a B.A. in 1963. He received a master's degree in divinity from Drew Theological Seminary, and a master's degree in theology in 1970 from Princeton Theological Seminary.
He is the recipient of many awards such as the prestigious Franklin Delano Roosevelt Freedom of Worship Medal and was listed in the December 1999 issue of Ebony Magazine as one of the 100 "Most Important Blacks in the World in the 20th Century." He has also been awarded more than 65 honorary degrees from America's leading colleges and universities.
Mr. Gray is married to the former Andrea Dash. They have three sons, William H. Gray IV, Justin and Andrew.
NCC News Service/2000 General
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