Edison College presented its 2006 Holland T. Salley Leadership in Fostering Education Award on Feb. 28 to Juliet "Judy" Collier Sproul, granddaughter of Barron Collier, at the Naples Grande Hotel.
Collier is known in Marco for selling the island to the Mackle brothers and their company, The Deltona Corp., which developed Marco Island.
Courtesy of Edison College
Some 300 business and community leaders who gathered to honor Sproul, known as the "First Lady of Collier County." Jeffery Allbritten, president of Edison College's Collier County campus in East Naples, said Sproul earned the 2006 LIFE Award because of her dedication to education.
"When people think of Judy Sproul, they think of development — land development such as Ave Maria University, business development as in Grey Oaks — but what she really cares about is community development. And she holds education as the key to a strong community," Allbritten said.
The LIFE Award was established in 2003 by the Edison College Foundation to honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions toward advancing academic opportunities for the citizens of Collier County.
Past recipients include interior designer Holland T. Salley, for whom the award is named after; Ed Morton, CEO of NCH Healthcare Systems; and Fred Pezeshkan, CEO of Kraft Construction Co.
Sproul was chosen this year because of her exemplary service, philanthropy and leadership in local education initiatives, Allbritten said.
In the early 1990's Sproul helped bring a permanent college campus to Naples. In 1991 she served on the Capital Campaign Committee to build the Collier Campus of Edison College in East Naples, which now serves more than 2,000 students per year.
She was a founding board member and land donor for The Community School in Naples. The Barron Collier Companies, of which she is a board member, donated the site for Ave Marie University. She was one of the founders of the Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts. And she serves as a co-chairman of the Naples Botanical Gardens.
Sproul thanked the college and the audience when accepting her award, a trophy with a crystal torch, which symbolizes "the clarity of vision of one who lights the way for all who seek education."