Darlington School: Private Boarding School in Georgia Alumni Spotlight | Larry Williams ('67)
Darlington School: Private Boarding School in Rome, GA
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Alumni Spotlight | Larry Williams (’67)

October 25, 2022 | 175 views

Larry Williams (’67) pictured with past Alumni Council President Robert Hortman (’99, LD ’18), longtime friend Lee Thuston (’67), and Head of School Brent Bell after receiving the 2022 Distinguished Alumnus Award last October.

Upon graduating from Darlington, Larry Williams (’67) was honored to receive the Senior Scroll for Outstanding Service to the Darlington Community. His loyal service to the school continued well after his departure, and so it really was no surprise that – 55 years later – he was awarded the 2022 Distinguished Alumnus Award. 

"This is a real honor for me to be able to introduce my dear, dear, dear friend of 60 years, Larry Callaway Williams," said Lee Thuston ('67) during the award presentation last October. "What you don’t read, what you can’t see, and what you don’t understand unless you pay attention to a person like Larry Williams is what he’s done for this school. 

“He has spent 22 years as a trustee, which is an enormous commitment. He has been something high up in all the major campaigns … He’s probably spent thousands of hours on the telephone, writing letters, cajoling people to support these campaigns,” Thuston continued. “He’s done it with no recognition in mind. He’s done it because of his love for Darlington. He is very, very deserving of this award today. When your motto – Wisdom More Than Knowledge, Service Beyond Self, Honor Above Everything – was written, I believe that they had a guy like Larry Williams in mind because he epitomizes that to me."

After Darlington, Williams earned his B.A. in Economics from the University of Virginia before beginning his 42-year career in the financial advisory sector. His experience spans a comprehensive range of industries, including printing and packaging, healthcare services, manufacturing, mining, specialty chemicals, and franchising. 

He retired in 2017 as a managing director of the investment banking team at Fifth Third Securities. Prior to joining Fifth Third, he co-founded the Breckenridge Group Inc., a boutique investment banking firm focused primarily on the middle market that played a significant role in the consolidation of the U.S. long distance telecommunications industry. He served previously as an executive vice president with Stringer, Wyatt & Williams Inc., a vice president for investment banking with The Robinson-Humphrey Co. Inc., director of finance and development for the Cecil B. Day Co., and owner and founder of the Days Inns of America motel chain.
Williams has been involved in numerous philanthropic and community service activities, including the Rotary Club of Buckhead, the Emory University School of Medicine Department of Urology Advisory Board, the Society of International Business Fellows, and the University of Virginia Jefferson Scholarship Foundation National Selection Committee.
He is currently a member of the Boards of Directors of Bonanza Royalties LLC, Portola Minerals Co. and Warbird Consulting Partners LLC. He previously served on the BT Capital Investment Advisory Board; the Bankers Trust Co. equity investment subsidiary; and the Boards of Directors of Shorewood Packaging Corp., Portola Packaging Inc., and American Gilsonite Co.

"I stand here today in front of you both humbled and grateful for the recognition that Darlington has decided to bestow on me this morning," said Williams. "My goal is to just help the school. To help the school succeed as a predominant boarding and day school in the preparation of its students to successfully enter and attend college."

As part of his lifelong commitment to Darlington, Williams served multiple terms on the Board of Trustees before being named a Life Trustee in 2020. He has also been an active fundraiser in three of the school’s capital campaigns and is a longtime member of the J.J. Darlington Giving Society.

"When I think about the Darlington we experienced and what it meant to me, it’s easy for me to realize that my seven years at Darlington changed my life … It was Darlington that laid the foundation for the later successes in my life," said Williams. "To the lucky students here today, I want to stress the importance of the bonds, the friendships, the special relationships forged in your time together here at Darlington. These are friendships for life. Keep them. Work hard. Make them important for the rest of your lives. It is the legacy of these relationships that the Darlington experience has given you. Your legacy is more than just giving money to your favorite charities; it is the impact you make on the lives around you with your time and your expertise, in addition to your resources. Your legacy is how you are remembered."