Geology Professor Gray Announces Retirement
May 15, 2017
ALLIANCE – Dr. Lee Gray, professor of the geology, has announced his retirement after teaching at the University of Mount Union for 33 years.
Gray earned a bachelor of arts degree from Colgate University and his master’s and doctoral degrees, both in paleontology, from the University of Rochester. He volunteered in the Peace Corps in Malaysia from 1977 to 1980, where he taught geology at the National University of Malaysia.
Gray was hired by the University in the fall of 1984 and during that time has been heavily involved in the campus community. He has served on the Student Life Committee, Faculty Personnel Committee, three Dean Search committees, five NCA accreditation subcommittees and the Academic Policies Committee, which he also briefly chaired. From 1997 to 2005, Gray was the chair of the Geology Department at Mount Union, and in the spring of 2006, he presented a faculty lecture entitled “The Natural History of Mars.”
“One of my most memorable experiences was on a geology field trip,” said Gray. “My geology colleague, Robert Wiese taught a class on ore deposits every three or four years. With that class, he would organize a long field trip to some mines in Canada. On one of those trips, we visited an underground gold mine. At one point on the tour of the mine we were permitted to collect samples of gold ore. It was a thrilling experience for me, a paleontologist, to tour an underground mine and to return with a souvenir of gold. I've always been grateful to Bob, for organizing those trips.
In 1988, Gray was awarded the Mount Union Great Teacher Award for the 1987-88 academic year. Senior students on the nomination committee that year had numerous praises for Gray in their nominations.
“Enthusiasm is the characteristic that distinguishes Dr. Gray. Not only does he make igneous rocks seem exciting at 8 a.m., but he is also enthusiastic about students and the learning process,” one alumnus wrote.
Outside of Mount Union, Gray has been featured in several publications, including the New York State Museum Bulletin, International Association of Fossil Cnidaria Guidebook and Warta Geologi. He has also presented at meetings of the Geological Society of America Northeast and North-Central Sections. Some of his professional affiliations include the Paleontological Society, Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists, Sigma XI and Northern Ohio Geological Society.
In his personal time, Gray volunteers at the Alliance Area Habitat for Humanity, sings tenor in the Minerva Presbyterian Church choir and plays the banjo. He also enjoys traveling and has recently been to Scotland and the Bahamas, and hopes to cruise to Alaska once retired.
“I will miss my colleagues and the students,” Gray said. “They have been a big part of my life for over 30 years. I'll also miss my office with the extensive books shelves, large file cabinets and fast internet connection.”
The University of Mount Union is incredibly grateful for the time that Gray has spent here and the immense impact he has had on our students and community.