Findley named outstanding AHS grad

Published 2:12 am Saturday, October 11, 2008

Murray Findley was honored Friday morning at his alma mater as this year’s outstanding graduate.

Findley, a member of the Class of 1948, was instrumental in forming the Class of ’48 Foundation, which has awarded approximately $85,000 in scholarships to graduates of Andalusia High School. Last year, he and his wife established the Murray and Clare Findley study abroad scholarship, which funds a summer study experience for a recipient of the foundation’s academic scholarship.

It was his personal interest in international study that led Findley to establish the scholarship. The founder and former chairman and CEO of Sobel Westex, a global manufacturer and distributor of luxury hotel linens, spends time studying abroad each summer. His first study abroad experience came in 1986, and he has since earned a master’s degree in international relations from Cambridge.

In addition, he’s been a Shakespearean scholar at the International Summer School at Cambridge from 1985-2000, and studied French at the Institut de Francais, in Villefranche-S-Mer, France, in the summers between 1997 and 2006.

“His love of Shakespeare – and of language in general – is a direct result of the influence of Miss Clyde Simmons, long time English teacher,” wrote his classmate Gene Sutton in nominating Findley for the award.

While language might have been his first love, he studied business administration as an undergraduate at Georgia State University because it was a practical choice, he said.

“I knew I had to make a living,” he said.

The lessons must have served him well. In addition to Sobel Westex, Findley also co-founded Westex Manufacturing Corp., which manufactures table linen, napkins, aprons, etc. for the hospitality industry. He also is the former chairman and CEO of Coast Drapery Service in Las Vegas, Nev., which supplies draperies for rooms and public space as well as other window treatments for luxury hotels.

Findley’s civic and social involvement includes governmental service, public office, military service and numberous fraternal organizations. He is an Eagle Scout and former Scout master; a 32nd degree Mason; a member of the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine; the UNLV Foundation; a U.S. Navy veteran; and a member of the Royal Ocean Racing Club in London.