Jo Ann Ray Honors Husband with Gift to UWG Newnan

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Newnan resident Jo Ann Boozer Ray recently donated $50,000 in honor of her husband Samuel Teague Ray, Sr., to the University of West Georgia Foundation in support of UWG Newnan. The gift will be used to fund facility enhancements at UWG Newnan, which will soon be housed in the historic Newnan Hospital.

Sam and Jo Ann Ray are dedicated public servants. Sam’s 32-year career in public health and Jo Ann’s passion for preservation and involvement in multiple museums and historical societies led them to donating this gift that they feel accomplishes two goals: assisting in the restoration of one of Newnan’s treasured landmarks, the historic Newnan Hospital, and ensuring success for Newnan residents and beyond for years to come.

“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,” Jo Ann said. “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.”

Sam began his career as the city representative for the Center for Disease Control and the Syphilis Eradication Program in New York and New Jersey. He then went on the Tulane University, where he received his master’s degree in public health and helped to develop the methodology for certification for Medicare and Medicaid. Afterward he moved to Georgia to work in the Department of Health in Atlanta, developing clinics in rural areas throughout the South. “My husband has always been concerned about the care of his fellow man,” Jo Ann said.

Jo Ann’s resume is equally as impressive. She is currently involved in many organizations and serves on the City of Newnan Art Commission, Board of Global Achievers and the Patrons Board of the Centre of Visual and Performing Arts. Previously, she was the main street director for the City of Newnan, board member and director for the Newnan Coweta Historical Society and the Male Academy Museum, the executive director of the Georgia Association of Museums and Galleries, and many more. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in clothing and textiles from the University of Alabama and a Certificate of Interior Design from Atlanta University.

“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 tear down 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.”

Photo: Sam Ray