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Exceeding Expectations Each Day

Robert Bray, '71, uses his knowledge and experience to address housing-related needs within the local community

Robert Bray is all about exceeding expectations. It’s a family tradition that Bray Real Estate was built on more than 70 years ago.

Bray is the third generation to lead his family’s Grand Junction company as its CEO. After he finished his two-year degree at CMU, Bray completed his business degree at the University of Denver with an emphasis in real estate.

“I was not focused on getting into real estate, but I picked a course and became more interested," said Bray.

He worked for appraisal firms before going to work for his dad. He rose in the ranks from doing appraisals to sales to management and was elected president in 1982 and CEO years later.

Bray serves on multiple boards and committees for local nonprofits, but his experience with United Way is what opened his eyes to various social needs in the community.

“[My family] has always believed in giving of our time, talent and treasure, but we never had a real focus on housing-related needs,” said Bray. “I work with people that have the means to rent, buy, invest and lease, but those without the means are kind of forgotten.”

Which is why he created the Bray Cares Foundation, with help from the Western Colorado County Foundation (WCCF), an endowed, donor-advised fund that addresses housing related needs in the community. As of October 2020, Bray’s foundation rewarded six agencies upwards of $20,000.

Bray tackled another unmet need he saw in the community and presented Colorado Mesa University President Tim Foster with the idea of starting a real estate program at CMU.

The Certificate in Real Estate has since come to life and teaches students life skills, career options, how credit
works and more. Bray personally facilitates some classes to ensure students are getting the most from the course.

“I want to give students an experience like I had whether they enter real estate professionally or not,” said Bray. “It’s also neat for an old fart like me to see students engaged and wanting to learn and also hear what I have to say.”


Graduation year: 1971

Hometown: Grand Junction, Colorado

Profession: CEO of Bray Real Estate

Most memorable book: Good to Great by James C. Collins

Favorite vacation location: Telluride, Colorado and Coronado, California

Hobbies: Traveling, jeeping, fly-fishing, motorcycles

Favorite CMU professor: Morgan Bridge, PhD (business)

• Helping to start CMU’s real estate program
• Starting the Bray Cares Foundation
• Raising kids that show genuine care and concern for others


Written by Cloie Sandlin