Arnold Eddy Volunteer Service Award
In 1992, in honor of Arnold Eddy, who served as Permanent Master of the Society from 1942 to 1955, the Skull and Dagger Society established the Arnold Eddy Volunteer Service Award. The award is presented annually at the Initiation Breakfast to a current member of the Society who has demonstrated exemplary volunteer service to the University of Southern California.
The 2005 recipient is Gordon Gray ('45)
His notoriety, though, can be traced back to the football field where he was an All-American and specifically the Rose Bowl, where he played in three Bowl Games for the Trojans.
With WWII on the horizon, Gray joined the Navy and attended USC under the Navy V12 Officer Training Program. Gray was tapped as a sophomore in 1945 because he says, tongue in cheek, “in those days they (Skull and Dagger) probably did not want to tap us posthumously”. Thankfully, having won the war, Gray returned from active duty in the Pacific to finish his education at USC, graduating with honors in January 1948 with a degree in History.
As a student, he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, Blue Key, Wampus and Phi Alpha Theta. Listed in Who’s Who in Colleges and Universities, he earned the Interfraternity Scholarship Award and the Helms Olympic Athlete Foundation Award. On the field, Gray was called the “Gray Ghost” according to him because, “I was like the willow of the wisps, I was here, there and everywhere and if they were going to catch me, I would just run out of bounds”. When asked if that meant he was afraid of being hit, he quickly explained that getting hit was never a problem for him!
Professionally, Gray had a long and successful career as an insurance broker, as a partner with David X. Marks Company and finally as Managing Director of Marsh McLennan, Inc., the world’s largest insurance brokerage.
He was a long time member of the Rotary Club of Los Angeles (LA5) where he served on the Board in 1991 and 1992. He is a Commissioner on the Los Angeles County Commission on Local Governmental Services where he served as Vice Chairman from 1992 through 1999. He served as a Director of the Los Angeles Olympic Festival in 1991 and was a member of the Track and Field Commission for the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. His passion for athletics earned him the Los Angeles Athletic Club Achievement Award.
Gray is very interested in the security and defense of our country and was the 2003 –2004 Chairman of the Defense Orientation Conference Association. As well, in 2004, he was elected to the Board of the National Defense University Foundation. The Foundation provides scholarships to and endows chairs at the National Defense University where programs and advanced degrees in military and industrial strategic planning are offered.
Gray lives in Glendale, California with his wife Patricia. Gray has two sons (with his wife the former Miriam Franz, who passed away several years ago) who are also Trojans: Gordon, Jr. and Richard as well as two grandchildren, who keep him busy.