photography by Elizabeth Lavin

Dr. Bill Spears

Dr. Bill Spears has a pen for every occasion.

Even when Dr. Bill Spears was in grade school, he knew a good pen when he saw one. While his classmates were stuck with crayons and #2 pencils, Spears couldn’t wait for the day when he could get his hands on a fountain pen, one like he saw his father use. An undergraduate degree from Oklahoma State and a Wharton MBA later (a doctorate from the Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship would come later still), Spears bought his first “good” pen—a Parker—when he was 24. His assortment has grown from that single Parker to several hundred pens, which he is outfitting an entire room in his new Highland Park home to properly display. But Spears, 66, founder of consulting company, Energy Education Inc., isn’t the type to leave his collectibles collecting dust. “I don’t own a pen that I don’t use,” he says. He’s got all kinds: fountain pens, rollerballs, ballpoints, and even mechanical pencils in a number of brands from all over the world. And he’s never lost one. During the 20-year history of his company, Spears—endower of the OSU William S. Spears School of Business—has signed contracts with 750 school districts in 46 states to help them cut back on energy spending. He’s always ready, with pen in pocket, to sign a few more.


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