Maier Foundation awards $300K to help WVU students ravaged by summer flooding

A $300,000 grant from the Maier Foundation will help students who were hit hard by last summer’s flooding attend West Virginia University.

On June 23, torrential rains over parts of West Virginia caused devastating flooding in many counties, resulting in loss of life and severe damage to entire communities. Many WVU students and their families were impacted by the storms and high water, leaving some homeless and others with extensive personal property loss.

“Need-based scholarship support for West Virginia students is one of the primary focus areas of our Foundation. This year, our board focused on those students affected by the flooding and the economic challenges in southern West Virginia,” said Brad Rowe, president of the Maier Foundation and real estate company General Corporation.

The donation to the WVU Foundation establishing the Maier Foundation Scholarship will provide a maximum $5,000 award to up to 12 undergraduate students annually over the next five years. All recipients must demonstrate a need because of the flooding. First preference will go to students living in counties identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as severely affected counties. The counties are: Clay, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Kanawha, Monroe, Webster, Fayette, Roane, Jackson, Greenbrier, Summers and Lincoln.

Students from elsewhere in southern West Virginia will be given second preference. Students may be eligible for funding for multiple years if they should still need financial assistance determined by the original criteria.

Students wishing to apply for the Maier Foundation Scholarship can do so through the WVU Office of Financial Aid.

The Maier Foundation was founded in 1958 by Clarksburg native William J. Maier, Jr. Maier graduated from Huntington High School and went on to attend Harvard University and Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. He later graduated from Harvard Law in 1928. Maier practiced law in the Charleston area and invested in natural gas and merchandise warehousing.

The Maier Foundation has been a generous supporter of WVU in the past, including a gift of over $1.2 million to establish the deanship at the WVU College of Law, and a donation of $1 million to establish the William J. Maier, Jr. Chair of Research at WVU’s Charleston Division School of Medicine.

The Maier Foundation also provided more than $2 million toward construction of a medical education building for the Charleston Division and the Maier Village student housing complex.

Maier’s motivation to give back to others was rooted in his mother’s advice to "do good with all the money you can spare.” In 2008, the Maier Foundation was named the WVU Foundation’s Outstanding Philanthropic Foundation.

The Maier Foundation’s contribution was made in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. The $1 billion fundraising effort by the WVU Foundation on behalf of the University runs through December 2017.

February 7, 2017