Will is a 1964 graduate of St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, holding a Bachelor of Arts degree in classical education. Subjects of postgraduate study include mechanical engineering, finance, and investment counseling. Will began his business career in an earth moving equipment company in which he advanced from parts department laborer to vice president in charge of international sales before entering the brokerage business in 1968. After more than a decade of experience in the business, Will joined Donaldson, Lufkin, and Jenrette (DLJ) in 1981 where, with his partner and a small cohort of brokers, he opened the Boston office of the firm (now the office of Credit Suisse.)
When a client relationship with Larry Berk, founder of the internationally renowned Berklee College of Music, turned to friendship, President Berk convinced Will to join the college’s board of trustees and for more than 25 years was one of the few non-musicians on the board. In 2001, Berklee honored Will both by awarding him an honorary doctorate in music and naming a reception hall in its performance center, The William Davis Room.
When his primary residence was in Boston, Will was appointed by the mayor to serve as one of 26 members of the Strategic Development Study Committee (SDSC) for the Boston extension portion of the Turnpike Air Rights Development. Among numerous philanthropic priorities, he actively supported local arts initiatives there including the Massachusetts College of Art, the Boston Center for the Arts, the Art Connection, and the Boston Arts Academy. Will’s interest and support of the arts is shared by his wife Jessica, who held Harvard University’s first chair in the arts in education, and by the youngest of his three sons Benjamin, who is an actor in Los Angeles. In Boston, Will’s oldest son Joshua is a managing partner of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak, & Stewart, P.C. and his middle son Alex follows Will’s business tradition as a broker at Morgan Stanley.
Now retired from Credit-Suisse, Will looks forward to serving on the President’s Council of Plymouth State University for President Sara Jayne Steen and he continues to serve on the board of the Little Church Theater in Holderness. From his residence on Squam Lake, Will supports and lends his voice to environmental issues addressed by the Natural Science Center of Squam Lakes, the Squam Lakes Association, and the Squam Lake Conservation Society.