William J. Maier, Jr. was born into modest means in Clarksburg, West Virginia. While growing up, his mother always stressed the importance of an education. After graduating from Huntington High School at the age of 16, he attended Harvard College on a Price Greenleaf Scholarship. While a junior at Harvard, William was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society and selected as a Rhodes Scholar. At Oxford, he majored in philosophy, politics and economics. After the completion of his studies at Oxford, he returned to Harvard and worked as an economics tutor to pay his way through its law school. He graduated Cum Laude from Harvard Law School in 1928.
William returned to his native West Virginia and began practicing corporate law in the Charleston area while investing in natural gas and merchandise warehousing in West Virginia and Ohio. After several years, the success of these ventures allowed him to stop his practice of law and focus his efforts on the businesses full time.
After attending college on various scholarships and following his mother's advice to "do good with all the money you can spare," William decided to give back. In 1958 he created the Sarah and Pauline Maier Scholarship Foundation, named for his mother and wife. A small board of directors was formed of friends and learned men from West Virginia. One of the original members, Honorable John T. Copenhaver, Jr., still serves on the board.
The first recipient was his alma mater, Harvard College, where a large scholarship endowment was established to help other men with an emphasis on those from West Virginia and Ohio. It was a small gesture to pay back the opportunity that William was given as a young man.
Edward H. Maier, a son of William, was elected President of the Foundation in December 1976. After William's death in 1981, Edward was elected as Chairman of the board of directors, the capacity in which he continues to serve today. The current President, Bradley Maier Rowe, was elected in December 2010. Bradley is one of several members of the third generation of the Maier family serving on the board of directors.
In 2003, the Sarah and Pauline Maier Foundation was renamed the Maier Foundation. Hundreds of men and women throughout the United States have been affected by the Foundation and the generosity of a humble man.
Please note that the Maier Foundation does not grant scholarships directly to individuals.
William J. Maier, Jr. and his wife, Pauline
The primary focus of Maier Foundation, Inc. is on the furtherance of higher education in West Virginia and on the higher education of West Virginia residents attending colleges and universities elsewhere. In addition, the Foundation makes educationally-related distributions to cultural and other organizations in the Kanawha Valley.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
(First row, left to right)
Sara Maier Rowe, Vice President
Honorable John T. Copenhaver, Jr.
J. Randy Valentine, Treasurer
(Second row, left to right)
Elizabeth Maier Chernow
Thomas W. Rowe
Edward H. “Butch” Maier, Jr.
Edward H. Maier, Secretary
Bradley Maier Rowe, Chairman & President
Elizabeth A. Culwell
When submitting a grant request, first ensure that your proposal falls within the guidelines of the Foundation's Mission Statement. Please note that the Maier Foundation does not grant scholarships directly to individuals.
Deadline for all grant requests is October 1st. All grant requests received after this date will NOT be considered.
“I was guided by my mother’s teaching that no wealth can be taken with us when we die, that God had given us the excess as trustees, but placed upon us the moral duty to decide the best use to which wealth could be put."
~William J. Maier, Jr.
A partial listing of previous grants made by the Maier Foundation:
Clay Center - The Maier Foundation Performance Hall
Charleston Area Medical Center
Harvard University - Sarah & Pauline Maier Scholarship Fund
Marshall University - Latin Cup Awards & Scholarships
Marshall University - William J. Maier Writing Awards
Marshall University - Yeager Scholars
Randolph College - The Maier Museum of Art
West Virginia University - College of Law
West Virginia Emulation Endowment Trust
University of Charleston
West Virginia Independent Colleges and Universities
When is the deadline for submitting a grant request?
October 1. All grant requests received after this date will not be considered.
What do I need to do to submit a grant request?
What funding areas do you support?
Higher education and educationally related cultural organizations in the Kanawha Valley. See Mission Statement and review the Grant History for more information.
When will I hear back from the Foundation regarding my grant request?
Typically, the Foundation holds its annual board meeting on the second Friday in December. You should hear back from the Foundation regarding your proposal by the end of December.
How do I apply for a scholarship?
The Foundation does not disperse scholarship funds directly to individuals. All scholarships are administered by the respective college or university. Students should contact their college or university financial aid office for information on scholarship programs.
Who will determine which grant requests receive funding?
The Board of Directors will carefully review all grant requests and determine which requests are funded. Unfortunately, the Foundation has to decline many commendable grant requests due to limited funds.