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Maier Foundation logo

A private, non-profit, charitable corporation for the furtherance of higher education in the State of West Virginia.

Members of Exponent Philanthropy and Philanthropy West Virginia


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, son of William, was elected as President of the Foundation in December 1976. After William's death in 1981, Edward was elected as Chairman of the board of directors, a role in which he served until 2022. In December 2010, Bradley Maier Rowe was elected as President of the Foundation, and in December 2022, he was elected as the Chairman. Bradley is one of several members of the third-generation 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.

Maier Foundation Mr and Mrs. William Maier, Jr.
West Virginia
Please note that the Maier Foundation does not grant scholarships directly to individuals.
family history

William J. Maier, Jr. and his wife, Pauline

mission statement

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.

Maier Foundation Sarah and Pauline Maier

(First row, left to right)
Sara Maier Rowe, Vice President

Honorable John T. Copenhaver, Jr.

Dr. Elizabeth Maier Chernow

J. Randy Valentine, Treasurer

(Second row, left to right)

Thomas W. Rowe

Edward H. Maier, Secretary

Edward H. “Butch” Maier, Jr.

Bradley Maier Rowe, Chairman & President

Dr. J. Gregory Rosencrance 


(Not pictured)

Elizabeth A. Culwell

Foundation Board 2023-12-09 - Edited_edi

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.


Please download and review the Policies and Guidelines prior to completing the Grant Request Form. At this time, grant requests cannot be submitted via the Internet.


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.

Maier Foundation 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

  • Maier Village

  • 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?

Please download and review the Policies and Guidelines and complete the Grant Request Form.


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.

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