Over the years, the Fresno State track and field team has produced athletes who exhibit success both on and off the playing fielding. Not all the athletes go on to play professionally after their college careers are over, but many do succeed in other areas of life. Ramsey Jay, Jr., a former member of the track team, is an example of that.
Recently, the 29-year-old was honored as one of Ebony Magazineâ€™s â€œ30 Young Leaders Under 30,” which can be seen in the February 2007 issue.
The annual list recognizes the achievements of young professional African-American men and women who display excellent leadership qualities by giving back to their communities and devoting their time and effort toward charitable causes.
Jay, now an investment professional in Morgan Stanleyâ€™s Private Wealth Management Division based in Los Angeles, says this latest accolade is due in large part to the support he received while at Fresno State.
â€œI think itâ€™s a tremendous honor,” Jay said in a telephone interview with The Collegian. â€œItâ€™s very humbling. It really is a tribute to a lot of the support Iâ€™ve received from people in the past. My experiences at Fresno State have provided the foundation of my success over the last five to seven years.”
In addition to being an outstanding student in the classroom, Jay also excelled on the field with an impressive two year stint on the Fresno State track team, spanning from 1998 to 1999. During those two years, he participated in the 200-and 400-meter sprint and the 4 x 400 relay.
Bob Fraley, head track and field coach, said Jay is ranked sixth all-time in Fresno State history when it comes to the 400-meter sprint. His stamina to do well is something Fraley remembers fondly.
â€œHe was a very serious student at all times,” Fraley said. â€œHe was different than a lot of the other athletes because he was goal-oriented. On road trips, while the other students were listening to music, heâ€™d be reading the Wall Street Journal. Instead of talking smack, heâ€™d be talking about a project or his goals in the business world.”
So it comes as no surprise to Fraley that Jay would be recognized as a young leader.
â€œIâ€™m really thrilled for Ramsey to see what heâ€™s accomplished,” Fraley said. â€œHe was very motivated and he didnâ€™t let anything stand in his way of academic success. He had his priorities straight.”
Jay said balancing life as a full-time student and an athlete was a great way to learn structure and time management skills.
â€œPlaying track teaches discipline and a commitment to excellence,” Jay said, adding that the experience of being an athlete truly does prepare one for success.
Jay initially came to Fresno State in 1997 on an athletic scholarship for track and field. In 2000, he received his bachelorâ€™s degree in business administration with an emphasis in finance from the Craig School of Business.
After obtaining his bachelorâ€™s, he attended the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, which was ranked as the top business school that year by the Wall Street Journal. In 2005, he received his masterâ€™s of business administration from Tuck.
While Jay has gone on to become a key figure in the business world, he has not forgotten his athletic roots, which is where his organization, Elite Capital Development, comes into play.
As the founder and CEO, Jay helps both high profile and collegiate level athletes plan for success in life.
â€œAthletes, especially high-performance athletes, have struggles to transition to life after sports,” Jay said. â€œThrough the company, we help support, motivate and guide athletes after their athletic career is over.”
The idea for the organization is something Jay started while he was a student at Fresno State.
â€œI am really proud of it,” Jay said. â€œIt is a good way for me to be engaged in sports even though Iâ€™m not playing anymore. It is my way of giving back.”
Another thing Jay takes great pride is public speaking, with his platform â€œempowering dreamers to become achievers” as the focal point.
Through his speeches, he strives to inspire dreams and helps individuals take â€œtangible steps to actively realizing their dreams.”
He said there are three steps an individual should follow in order to realize their dreams.
â€œNumber one is to have a dream,” Jay said. â€œNumber two is to talk to people that you trust who will help you take steps to realizing that dream. Number three: donâ€™t expect grand dreams to happen overnight. It takes time and persistence.”
Jay said for college students in particular, it is important to realize that success is not just a dream reserved for the lucky few. It, too, can become reality through hard work.
â€œYou have to believe that success is possible,” Jay said. â€œYou have to have that belief and commitment that you can achieve whatever you set your mind to. There is no law that says you canâ€™t go to Fresno State, to the number one business school, or become a senator. Fresno State can take you and be your launching pad to wherever you want to go. It is a platform, but youâ€™ve got to first aim high.”