Clyde Ray, Ph.D. profile pictureClyde Ray, Ph.D., joins Holy Cross College in the role of Assistant Professor of Politics. He holds a Bachelor of Science in political science from Western Carolina University, a Master of Arts in political science from Villanova University, and a doctorate in political science from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is the author of two books, “John Marshall’s Constitutionalism” (SUNY Press) and “Defining Statesmanship: A Comparative Political Theory Analysis” (Lexington Press), as well as several articles in the areas of constitutional law, American politics, and political theory.

“I come to Holy Cross College from Lincoln Memorial University, where I served as chair of social sciences. Before that, I worked at Brevard College, Villanova University, and La Salle University. I have studied and taught politics for more years than I’d care to admit,” noted Ray. “In the fall, I will be teaching courses in American government, political economy, political thought, and world politics. I will also be developing a curriculum in politics that includes all major areas of the discipline.”

For his teaching, he was awarded the Tanner Teaching Assistant Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the Student Undergraduate Teaching and Staff Award, the Future Faculty Fellowship Program Award, and the Earle Wallace Award for Outstanding Teaching Assistant, Department of Political Science, all at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. His research accolades include Humane Studies Fellowship at the Institute for Humane Studies, the Prestage-Cook Travel Award with the Southern Political Science Association, the Hayek Fund for Scholars Research Grant with the Institute for Humane Studies, the Adam Smith Fellowship from the Mercatus Center/Liberty Fund, and the Henry Salvatori Fellowship from The Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

Career path

“I chose to study politics because of an interest I developed as an undergraduate in the ‘Great Books’ of the canon. Intellectually, I liked the connections one can draw among thinkers spanning different times and contexts, the shared vocabulary these authors convey about citizenship, rights, liberty, justice, courage, and other concepts. Civically, I’ve found that an understanding of politics that reaches beyond the latest headlines or tweets has made me a more thoughtful and considerate citizen, and these are qualities that I hope to cultivate among my students,” said Ray.

Why Holy Cross College

“I came to Holy Cross College to help build and further strengthen its politics program so that students have a wide-ranging and in-depth understanding of their roles as citizens of the United States and the world,” commented Ray. “Pope Francis repeatedly mentions the importance of a culture of encounter, where we place ourselves in dialogue with the underserved and even those antagonistic to our values. Students can gain confidence for such encounters through the kind of self-scrutiny and reflection that a good education in political science promotes.”

Plans on campus

“One of my long-term goals at Holy Cross College is to eventually create a major in politics that gives students literacy in all the major fields that professional political scientists study: American government, political philosophy, comparative politics, and international relations. We are offering courses that draw on each of these fields in the fall. Apart from the intellectual rewards, a political science major will, I think, open a lot of doors for Holy Cross students, be it law school, teaching, public administration, business school, or other vocations. The skills that students will acquire in politics classes will, I pray, carry over and serve students well in whatever direction God calls them,” said Ray.