Ray donates to UWG in honor of husband
by Celia Shortt
Longtime Newnan resident, civic servant, and art enthusiast JoAnn Ray recently donated $50,000 to the University of West Georgia Foundation for the new UWG campus in Newnan in honor of her husband, Samuel Teague Ray Sr.
“We decided that this would be the perfect way to recognize the things that we feel are important for Newnan and for outside our community as well,” said Ray. “I think the campus will continue to grow, and I think more students will start coming here. The university provides excellent opportunities for not only traditional students, but also for more mature students looking to increase their education.”
Both Sam and JoAnn Ray have distinguished careers and a long history of service to the community.
Ray began his 32-year public health career as the city representative for the Center for Disease Control and the Syphilis Eradication Program in New York and New Jersey. He earned his master’s degree from Tulane University, and while there he helped develop the methodology for Medicare and Medicaid certification.
He and Mrs. Ray then moved to Georgia and developed clinics in rural southern areas through the Department of Health in Atlanta.
Mrs. Ray holds a bachelor of science degree in clothing and textiles from the University of Alabama and a certificate of interior design from Atlanta University.
She is currently involved in many different organizations throughout Newnan and Coweta County and serves on the Newnan Cultural Arts Commission, Board of Global Achievers and Centre Patrons. Some of her past service includes Main Street director, Newnan-Coweta Historical Society director and board member, and director of the Male Academy Museum; and serving as executive director of the Georgia Association of Museums and Galleries.
“I think the new UWG Newnan facility will be extremely impressive, simply because of the setting that it is in and that it will prevent the teardown of a historic building,” she said.
“That’s one of the things that has always been important to me, maintaining the integrity of Newnan and Coweta County. This will be a wonderful addition to our city.”
Her donation will be used to fund facility enhancements at the new UWG campus in Newnan at the Jackson Street site of the old Newnan Hospital, which is scheduled to start classes in January 2015.