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Sterling College Announces Ben Ray ’82 as its Commencement Speaker


By Sterling College


STERLING, Kan. — Ben Ray ’82, current Board of Trustees member and Senior Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Derby, Kan., will be the speaker for the 2024 Sterling College Commencement ceremony.  The ceremony will honor the Class of 2024 and will take place on Saturday, May 11, at 9:45 a.m. in the Gleason Physical Education Center on the Sterling College campus.

“I’m excited and humbled to be the Commencement speaker for the graduating class of 2024. For me, graduation is a springboard. It takes all the energy, learning, dedication and memories of your schooling years and propels you into all the possibilities that await you. This class has so many opportunities ahead of them and I am so grateful that Sterling College had a hand in their preparation,” said Ray. 

Ray is in his 24th year as pastor in Derby.  He has served churches in Iowa and Illinois as well. Before seminary, he worked in business and spent two years in the Sterling College Admissions Office. He has been active in the Derby community, serving as Co-Chair of a $66.6 million school bond that passed in 2012, and for the past 17 years as the volunteer chaplain for the Derby Police Department.

Ray has served his denomination as a past Moderator of the Presbytery of Southern Kansas, numerous Administrative Commissions, and serves on the Presbytery’s Board of Trustees.  

Ray holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Sterling College and a Master of Divinity degree from the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Tiffany (’89) have three children, Hayley ’16 (Daniel), Josiah ’17 (Ivy ’17) and Isaac.  They also have 5 granddaughters.

Sterling College is a Christ-centered, four-year college located in Sterling, Kansas, with a mission to develop creative and thoughtful leaders who understand a maturing Christian faith. For more information, visit