Mac community mourns passing of 2 LT Clovis Ray ’99

By Patrick Murphy

It’s difficult to trace the trajectory of something that doesn’t seem to have a conclusion. Such is the case with the exemplary legacy of Clovis Ray ’99. In the fall of 1995, Ray and his twin brother Eddie ’99 left home in Three Rivers, Texas, arriving in St. Paul to attend Macalester College. Honors students and standout football players at Three Rivers High School, the Ray brothers are remembered to this day as the catalyst for turning a struggling high school program into a winning tradition both with their play on the field and leadership off of it. 1200 miles from home, the Ray brothers still lined up a few steps from each other as linebackers on the Macalester football team. The brothers graduated in 1999, Clovis with a degree in Sociology, Eddie in Economics. After graduating, Clovis pursued a successful career in investment banking in San Antonio, before deciding to join the Army in 2010. The Army typically does not accept recruits over the age of 30; nonetheless, it accepted Ray into Officer Candidate School at 32. Graduating from Officer Candidate School as a Second Lieutenant, Ray was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. In late December of last year, Ray’s brigade deployed to Afghanistan. On Thursday, Mar. 15, Ray was on patrol with his platoon in the dangerous Kunar Province when he was fatally wounded by the detonation of an insurgent improvised explosive device. News of Ray’s passing quickly made its way to the Macalester community. On Tuesday, the American flag in the center of campus flew at half-mast in memory of the fallen alum. “By all accounts, Clovis Ray was an extraordinary young man—a leader and a credit to Macalester in every sense,” said President Brian Rosenberg. “We honor his sacrifice and are deeply, deeply saddened by his loss.” Despite graduating over a decade ago, Ray’s legacy lives on in the Macalester football program. “The Mac football family is grieving the death of Clovis Ray,” said head coach Tony Jennison. “Unfortunately, I did not get an opportunity to meet Clovis, but over the four years I have been Macalester’s head football coach I have heard his name mentioned on multiple occasions and always with very positive reactions. From those who knew him well, I have heard Clovis was an exceptional person, an extremely positive leader while also being very passionate, inspirational and loyal. Those qualities certainly made him an ideal leader in our armed forces.” In am email to Jennison, Andrew Borene ’98, a former Marine and teammate of Ray’s on the Macalester football team, wrote: “Clovis died fighting for an international mission with “International Security Assistance Force” (ISAF) in Afghanistan—exactly the kind of thing that should be recognized as heroic and selfless, by our institution with strong, historic commitments to internationalism and human rights.” Second Lieutenant Clovis Ray leaves behind a wife, Shannon, and 5-year-old son, Dean Aaron Ray. He was 34. refresh –>