Vincent D. Murray Auditorium unveiled at ceremony

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With a crowd of students, teachers, alumni, parents and administrators looking on, art teacher John Brandhorst unveiled the sign for the Vincent D. Murray Auditorium on May 19. At the beginning of April, the local school council approved social studies teacher James Campbell’s motion to name the auditorium after the principal of 23 years.

Despite the controversial circumstances surrounding Murray’s departure, the mood at the occasion was celebratory. Guests enjoyed music, performed by senior Saharah Jimenez and the Grady jazz band, and a variety of refreshments. Social studies teacher Lee Pope introduced Murray after thanking him for all he’s done to support the arts.

“It is a perfect and fitting tribute to name the theater after Dr. Murray,” Pope said. “I came here almost 10 years ago, and started the musical theater program, and wanted a class and [had] all these dreams and aspirations. Dr. Murray supported the chorus program, the orchestra, the marching band, the jazz band [and] the theater program.”

Murray said just a few words.

“I’m known for my brevity,” he said. “And I will not disappoint.”

He said being at Grady for the past 23 years has been a joy.

“When I leave, I take you with me, and wherever I land, I will let you all know, and we will stay in touch,” Murray said.

Murray is known for having good relationships with teachers and staff. Social studies teacher Lou Sartor said he got to see a lot of principals at other schools when he worked as a supply teacher.

“When I got here, the one thing that really struck me is how different he was from virtually every other principal that I have seen,” Sartor said.

Sartor said Murray’s calmness differentiated him from other, more aggressive principals.

“I was really impressed with how he approached the staff as professional colleagues instead of as subordinates,” he said. “I feel very privileged to have worked for him.”

Graphic production teacher Paul Nicolson said Murray offered him quiet support.

“You don’t see his presence; you feel it,” Nicolson said.