Bray Family Oregon Tech Legacy
Alex Bray 2024
Alex Bray, Class of 2024

Sixty years after his grandfather graduated from Oregon Tech and 33 years after his uncle graduated, Alex Bray is following his family’s legacy, graduating Saturday as a member of Oregon Tech’s Class of 2024.

Bruce Bray began the legacy in the early 1960s while he was living in Medford, Ore. As a lover of cars, he was encouraged to follow his heart and find a career where he could work on them, and Oregon Tech was the school people suggested to get him there.

After graduating from Oregon Technical Institute (now Oregon Tech) in 1964 with a degree in Diesel Technology, Bruce worked as a Diesel Mechanic in California for 15 years before returning to Oregon. He spent most of his career there with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), working as a Field Mechanic in Southern Oregon. Upon his retirement, he had been with ODOT for 23 years.

Bruce's commitment to Oregon Tech and the friendships he made there left a lasting impact. Although he passed away in 2017, his wife, Susan, shared that Bruce made lifelong friends at Oregon Tech.

Jim at Cape Canaveral for the launch of the Jupiter 3 spacecraft built by Maxar Space Systems
Jim at Cape Canaveral for the launch of the
Jupiter 3 spacecraft built by Maxar Space

Encouraged by his father's success and stories, Bruce’s son, James “Jim,” decided to attend Oregon Tech because of the school’s positive reputation.

“The fact that Oregon Tech is a highly rated small school with Mechanical Engineering was a significant influence in my decision,” Jim said.

Jim graduated in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and through his participation in Oregon Tech’s Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program, he also became a U.S. Army Reserve Commissioned Officer.

Jim now works as a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at Maxar Space Systems in Palo Alto, Calif., which designs and manufactures satellites and spacecraft components for communications, Earth observation, exploration, and on-orbit servicing and assembly.

Bruce and Alex Bray
Bruce and Alex Bray

Now, 33 years after his uncle’s graduation, Alex has earned a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity and will make his way across the Oregon Tech commencement stage Saturday, continuing the Bray family legacy.

“My reason for deciding on Oregon Tech was because of its technical programs as well as my family's history of attending Oregon Tech and finding success afterward,” Alex said.

After graduation, Alex plans to apply for security analyst positions and continue his education with certification programs.

A family legacy 60 years in the making, Susan said she is the proud wife, mother, and grandmother of three generations of Oregon Tech graduates.

“I'm not sure if this is a typical family story or not, but it pleases me greatly to think that this organization has provided the Bray family with a good life due to the education received by OTI, OIT and/or Oregon Tech. The name may have changed over time, but the quality of the education has not,” Susan said.