It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of our esteemed colleague and friend, Jay Lally, who oversaw Florida Tech’s financial aid strategy and operations for 27 years. He departed from us early on the morning of Nov. 3, 2023, following complications related to an existing heart condition. He was 65 years old.
Jay joined Florida Tech in 1996. First serving as director of financial aid, then in the role of associate vice president for enrollment management, he dedicated his talent, expertise and passion to making a Florida Tech education as affordable as possible for every student who enrolled.
Professionally, Jay was known for hard work, attention to detail, creative problem-solving, financial acumen and impeccable leadership.
“Jay taught me everything I know about financial aid, and he was the best sounding board I could ask for,” said Brian Ehrlich, vice president of enrollment management. “He had this amazing ability to balance policies and regulations with the best interests of our students—he always put them first.”
Mike Perry, executive director of admissions, said he would remember Jay’s commitment to student success, as well. “His financial aid strategy was directly responsible for the successful enrollment and graduation of thousands of Florida Tech alumni,” he said. “Jay’s focus was on taking care of students at all levels. He was the biggest advocate for their enrollment success.”
While much of Jay’s work entailed high-level planning and administration, he always held onto the responsibility of visiting local high schools to deliver financial aid presentations. He was always happy to help college-bound students and their families understand the financial aid process. This dutiful commitment to serving the community inspired all who had the privilege of working alongside him.
“The university has lost one of its true champions—an incredible leader, mentor and friend,” said Eroica Davis, associate director of financial aid. “Jay served this university, our students and the financial aid team with integrity, dedication and a commitment to equity. We miss him already.”
Personally, Jay was known for his sense of humor, relaxed demeanor, great stories and love of sports—especially golf. From 2003 to 2005, Jay coached the men’s golf team at Florida Tech. Later, he brought a different type of competition to the university.
“For a time, Jay organized an annual competition between the admission and financial aid offices. It involved horseshoes, corn-hole, volleyball and a putting contest,” Perry recalled. “He was great at building a team.”
Most of all, colleagues remember Jay’s deep dedication to his wife, Tracy, and sons, Trevor and Keefer.
“Jay was one of the hardest-working and most easy-going individuals I have ever known,” said Bob Rowe, senior admission counselor. “He was also a devoted family man. When we talked, he would always bring me up to speed about how his boys and his wife were doing.”
“On behalf of the university, Stacy and I wish to convey our most profound condolences to the Lally family, as well as his many friends and colleagues,” said Florida Tech President John Nicklow. “May our memories of him offer each of us some peace during this difficult time.”
Jay will be remembered in a Celebration of Life service Saturday, Nov. 11 on the Florida Tech campus. The service will begin at 11 a.m. at the All Faiths Center, 3216 Engineering St. There will be a reception immediately following in the Hartley Room on the 2nd floor of the Denius Student Center.