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
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.