There’s one word in the English dictionary that Ray Humphrey could do without.
Defined as an intense and extreme passionate dislike, it’s a word often associated with individuals, groups and ideals; but Ray is quick to point out that “hate” doesn’t have to be part of our ideology.
In June, Ray delivered the keynote speech at International College’s 16th Annual Commencement Ceremony where he reminded graduates that children are taught to hate and instead, we should encourage them to find only the good in people.
“If people could only hate the word hate,” says Ray. “If we could transition that to countries and leaders, what a great world we could have.”
A retired Infantry Airborne Ranger, Ray has spent his whole life traveling the world and helping others become the best version of themselves.
He’s watched soldiers and civilians step outside of their comfort zones and succeed beyond their expectations.
He’s seen heroes rise to the occasion and has quietly generated peace among opposing political forces.
And he’s asked everyone he’s ever worked with to be innovative and to challenge themselves to their fullest potential, offering high praise along the way.
“I’ve had a fair degree of excitement in my life,” says Ray. “Through it all, I’ve learned to take people for who they are, not to be judgmental and to challenge people to excel beyond their own expectations.”
But no matter where his travels have taken him, there’s one place Ray always feels fortunate to come back to — his home in Boca Royale Golf & Country Club.
A native of Sudbury, Mass., Ray moved to Boca Royale from Naples in January 2015 after spending years visiting his mother, who lived in Englewood Center. During his visits, Ray would periodically take his mother and other guests to celebrations at the Boca Royale clubhouse.
After continually seeing the warmth and hospitality of the community’s residents and leadership team, Ray felt Boca Royale offered everything he was looking for in a leading edge renaissance community.
Since moving into his 2,964-square foot home, Ray has been fortunate to become part of a close-knit community centered around friendliness and caring for others.
“Being home in Boca Royale really symbolizes returning to family,” says Ray. “When I’m here, I absolutely forget everything up north.”
Upon graduating from Norwich University in Vermont, Ray entered the U.S. Army as a lieutenant and spent the next 20 years proudly serving in the Army before retiring from the U.S. Military Police in 1977.
“My career was filled with excitement and glory, but it’s more than that,” says Ray. “It’s about patriotism, duty and service to your country and family. I take pride in helping people, in making a difference and leaving a difference.”
Upon retiring, Ray entered the private sector and also began consulting for the U.S. Government, spending a significant amount of time traveling to Russia, Latin America, the Middle East and Europe. Over the years, Ray has been become one of the world’s most prominent authorities on global and industrial security matters and has helped bring people together.
Immediately following 9/11, Ray hosted the largest global security gathering of the year, which he opened with a prayer.
With 40,000 people from across the world in attendance, he turned off all of the lights and poignantly reminded the audience that no matter its race, creed, origin or color, there is hope for peace in the world.
At that point, an Israeli, a Saudi prince, a Latin American woman and an African American joined hands on the stage, as Ray encouraged the attendees to work for global peace while a photo montage set to “God Bless the USA” played throughout the auditorium.
“You could just feel a pulse go through the audience,” says Ray. “It was my graphic method of powerfully showing that people can come together and overcome bias, hatred or disappointment.”
Today, when he’s not busy consulting, Ray enjoys spending time with his five children and his grandson, who is in the U.S. Army.
Ray also enjoys taking part in Boca Royale’s various social events and activities and also is learning to play golf and tennis.
“People never grow old no matter their years, and I try to live up to that,” says Ray. “Boca Royale and its residents provide me that support base so seldom encountered or available elsewhere. I’m glad I’m home among family!”