Dave Perry Achieves a First at Saint Mary's College

Dave Perry '97 holds the record for being awarded the most degrees from Saint Mary's College, adding an EdD in 2019.
Photo of Dave Perry '97 and his father, Dennis Perry '64

Campaign Progress

By Kay Carney/Photo by Gerry Serrano

Dave Perry ’97 has accomplished something that no other Gael has achieved. He holds the record for being awarded the most degrees from Saint Mary’s College. Perry earned his BA in 1997, MBA in 2001, teaching credential in 2002, Administrator Certificate in 2004, MA in educational leadership also in 2004, and his EdD in 2019. His ascent from a doting freshman to Dr. Perry has been a blessed journey.

Perry entered Saint Mary’s in 1993 and quickly embraced all that the College had to offer. “The influence that the Brothers had on my life as a young collegian was life changing,” said Perry.

After graduating from Saint Mary’s (the first time), Perry started working in banking and finance, and later decided to enroll in the evening MBA program. After completing his second degree, he decided to pursue his passion, which was education. Perry returned to Saint Mary’s and earned a teaching credential and Administrator Certificate and then decided to pursue a master’s in education leadership. Fast-forward to 2009. “I had already become a principal at a pretty young age, but I wanted to do more. The thought of earning an EdD from Saint Mary’s was very appealing,” said Perry.

On May 25, 2019, Perry walked across the stage and was officially hooded, becoming Dave Perry, EdD. “When it was time for me to defend my dissertation, I asked my chair, Heidi Marie Rambo, if my dad could attend. She said ‘absolutely,’ so I was able to have my dad, a Saint Mary’s alum, at my dissertation defense,” added Perry. His dissertation, “Open Wide the Door. Catholic Teacher Efficacy for Inclusive Education,” was inspired by his work as a principal at Saint James Catholic School in Davis, Calif. 

Perry is humbled to hold the title of most credentialed graduate from Saint Mary’s College. “It wasn’t something I set out to do,” said Perry. “If anything, I’m living proof that you can do whatever you put your mind to.”