A WISE INVESTMENT:

Dr. Stanley and Merry Williams

Dr. Stanley Williams has always had a keen eye to spot potential. Merry Williams loves to roll up her sleeves and transform worthy efforts into great endeavors.

     Such attributes are evident in their 35-year marriage, their raising of four daughters, and in the careers they have achieved. After selling their regional dental center in 1984, Stanley, in particular, has enjoyed international, entrepreneurial business development.

     Residents of Sarasota since 2003, Stanley and Merry have each found their penchant at Ringling College of Art and Design.

     Attracted by the renowned Town Hall Lecture Series, Merry became active with the Ringling College Library Association and now serves on the organization’s board of directors. Stanley was enthralled by the fact that Ringling College is one of the select partner institutions for the Davis United World Scholars Program. Only five institutions of higher education worldwide were approved for this honor in the 2007 selection process: The University of Chicago, M.I.T., Notre Dame, Stanford, and Ringling College of Art and Design.

     Only two other art and design institutions are qualified to accept Davis World Scholars, but Ringling dominates in terms of the number of Davis Scholars enrolled. Ringling has more than four times the number of Davis Scholars than the other two schools combined. Stanley notes, “These Davis Scholars are the brightest students from around the world. To have such intellectual capital here in Sarasota bodes well for all of us—now and in the future.”

     Thanks in large part to a $200,000 scholarship gift provided by the Williams, Ringling College now features 24 Davis World Scholars on its campus. Ringling’s president, Dr. Larry R. Thompson, commented: “Stan and Merry’s investment is already providing an invaluable return for our students, faculty, and all of Sarasota. We are very grateful for their foresight and generosity.”