The establishment of a $100,000 endowment fund which will ensure the continuation of the Latin Awards by Marshall University was announced last week by Ed Maier, President of the Maier Foundation, Inc., which has sponsored the awards since 1979.
The announcement came at the annual awards ceremony that took place on the Huntington campus. During the ceremony outstanding high school students and Marshall students in both Latin and writing competitions are recognized.
The endowment will fund the Maier Latin Cup Awards and the Maier Sight Translation Awards, both for high school students, and the Maier Latin Scholarship, which is given to a Marshall Latin major.
“I was delighted to learn of the Maier Foundation’s generous support for classical studies at Marshall, which grows out of the Maier family’s longstanding interest in promoting the study of the humanities in West Virginia,” Dr. John Young, associate professor of English at Marshall, said. “Such support is especially important in our contemporary climate, as the humanities teach, above all, how to communicate across and through differences of culture, place and history.”
The Maier Latin awards were established by Ed Maier’s father, William J. Maier, Jr., to repay in some way the special attention his high school Latin teacher at Huntington High School showed him. A high school graduate at the age of 16, the elder Maier received an award then given by West Virginia University which named him the top Latin student in the State. The elder Maier credited the extra devotion to Latin and Latin students by his teacher as having helped him secure a scholarship to Harvard College.
During his academic career, William Maier, Jr. garnered top honors and graduated second in his class at Harvard. He later received a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship and while teaching economics at Harvard earned a law degree from that institution. Maier became a successful businessman and a noted philanthropist, establishing the Sarah and Pauline Maier Scholarship Foundation, named in honor of his mother and his wife, which has given millions of dollars to educational institutions, community, cultural and civic projects, and other worthy causes.
“What is particularly pleasing is that the foundation supports the work of high school students. These students work very hard, as do their teachers, and it is very nice to see their efforts rewarded,” said Dr. Caroline Perkins, chair of MU’s Department of Classics. “The annual gifts from the foundation are unique in the country,” she said. “Now that these annual gifts have become an endowed gift, I and members of the Department of Classics feel that the recognition will identify the achievement of West Virginia students even more. We owe great thanks to Ed Maier and the Maier Foundation. By honoring his father, a thing that the Romans would understand very well, he honors students in our state.” The William J. Maier Writing Awards were established in 1973 by William J. Maier, Jr. in honor of his father. These awards, for excellence in writing, are presented annually to students enrolled in English classes at Marshall University. Ranging from $100 to $500, the awards recognize and reward good and distinctive writing. In addition, the Department of Classics at Marshall sponsors the Maier Latin Scholarship which is underwritten by the Maier Foundation. This $2,000 scholarship is intended to support the work of a student presently pursuing a Latin major at Marshall and who is enrolled in advanced Latin classes. Ed Maier personally presents the Latin and writing awards each spring.
... there follows a list of recipients of the award ...