Will Ray

Title: Director, External Affairs, Scripps Florida.

Started at Scripps Research: January 1, 2004.

Goal: "Our mission is to help ensure financial support for the science that will be carried out at Scripps Florida, beyond the more than $500 million already provided by the public sector here."

Challenges: "I encounter some confusion about what Scripps Research does. Is it a for-profit business, a media company, or something else that carries the name 'Scripps'? So I enjoy explaining that our Scripps is a nonprofit, independent biomedical research institution, in a class with the best in the world. Many Florida donors already know and support institutions in Boston, New York, or Israel which, like Scripps, depend on charitable contributions to advance human knowledge and the quality of human life. As a result, they understand."

Background: Will Ray comes to Scripps Research after 22 years as president and chief executive officer of the Palm Beach County Cultural Council, where he was involved in the realization of the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts and the Armory Art Center, county referendums on a tourist development tax and a bond to support parks and cultural initiatives, and the creation and management of the organization Florida Philanthropy.

Prior to coming to Florida in 1982, Ray was a teacher, editor, and administrator at universities in North Carolina, Louisiana, and Tennessee. He is a graduate of Wake Forest University and has M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has edited several books in the humanities.

Community Involvement: Numerous volunteer positions, which have included membership in advisory councils and boards of Florida Atlantic University, the Florida Tourism Commission, the Florida ArtsPac, the South Florida Cultural Consortium, the Florida Association of Local Arts Agencies, the Winston-Salem Arts Council, and United Way of Palm Beach County.

Extracurriculars: Playing the organ for four masses every weekend at St. Edward's Catholic Church. Attending Bikram yoga classes, which he finds "relaxing and energizing." Reading the history of science and South Florida murder mysteries. Adding to his collection of over 700 pop-up books. Restoring his Old Florida 1925 home on the Intracoastal Waterway.


Send comments to: mikaono[at]scripps.edu




"I enjoy explaining that our Scripps is a nonprofit, independent biomedical research institution, in a class with the best in the world," says Will Ray of Scripps Florida. Photo courtesy of the Sun-Sentinel.