About the President
Spouse: Larry Williamson's Biography
Larry A. Williamson is the husband of Dr. Jayne Marie (Jamie) Comstock, the 10th President of Winthrop University.
Prior to his arrival at Winthrop, Williamson enjoyed a broad range of experiences in institutions of higher education. He taught numerous courses in political science at Butler University in Indianapolis, Ind. He served as vice president for institutional advancement at Maryville University in St. Louis, Mo. While at the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Fla., he shouldered several responsibilities including director of government relations, executive director of the UWF Foundation, and executive assistant to the president.
Williamson’s governmental relations experiences include national, state, regional, and local work. He advocated for higher education issues in the Florida Legislature for five years, coordinated regulatory issues in the Kansas Legislature for two years while director of the Kansas Dental Board, and served on the district staff of a U.S. congressman for three years.
Williamson enjoyed a 30-year career in the U.S. Navy including periods of both active and reserve service. During his Navy career, he served as the battle force logistics officer and assistant chief of staff for the amphibious task force commander during Operation Desert Storm. His last duty assignment was representing the commander of the 7th Fleet during major exercises in the Republic of Korea. Williamson retired from the Navy with the rank of captain.
Other professional experiences include managing the trust department for Regions Bank in central Illinois, oversight of client responsibilities as a financial consultant for Merrill Lynch, ownership of a chain of retail shoe stores in north Florida, and program responsibility for voluntary education initiatives of the Department of Defense.
Civic involvement and a commitment to community activities has been an integral part of Williamson’s background. He was appointed to a four-year term on the Florida Arts Council, the statewide grant-making agency, serving two years as chair. He worked on the restoration and management of a historic theatre as a performing venue; he was appointed to a statutory body charged with the oversight of marketing strategies for tourism development and the stewardship of tax revenues derived from hotel and restaurant charges; he served on a high profile committee tasked with the evaluation and selection of competing sites for the construction of a $20 million dollar civic arena.
Williamson holds a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and English literature from Baylor University and a master’s degree in international studies from the University of Kansas. He is a native of Pensacola, Fla.