Sharyn and Doug Chapman

            Doug Chapman is a product of the school of hard knocks. Originally from Toronto, he migrated to Chicago in his youth in pursuit of the American dream. In a story straight out of a Hollywood movie, Doug started at the bottom and, 40 years later, retired as a corporate executive at the pinnacle of his industry.

            Residing in Sarasota at least seasonally since the 1980s, Doug has served two terms on Ringling College’s board of trustees, and has been a donor to Ringling for three decades. Over the years, Doug and his wife, Sharyn, have given more than $400,000 to Ringling College—not only as cash gifts, but also through creative methods like donating their personal golf cart to the college.

            An artist and a student, Sharyn has thrived under the tutelage of Ringling College fine arts instructor Jeff Schwartz. “Jeff is an extraordinary teacher,” Sharyn offers. “He reaches into your soul and pulls out what is worthy of expression.”

            Zwahyma Adrover can attest to the refreshing, if not revolutionary, approach to educational delivery found at Ringling College. A sophomore illustration major from Miami, Zwahyma is one of the beneficiaries of the Chapmans’ generosity. “It is nearly impossible for me to articulate what it means to be a Chapman Scholar,” she says. “I get too emotional. My parents are very hard-working immigrants from Spain with modest means. If it weren’t for the Chapmans, I would not be here pursuing my dream.”

            “We derive so much satisfaction out of our relationship with Ringling College,” says Sharyn. “Doug and I feel it would be selfish of us if we didn’t return the favor for the benefit of others.”

            And thus the American dream is passed to the next generation.

            For more information on how you can have a similar impact, and establish such a legacy, contact the office of development at or 941-359-7674.