Will R. Manier, Jr. was one of Tennessee’s most impactful Rotarians. He was a charter member of the Nashville Rotary Club which was organized in 1913. He was President of the Nashville Club during the 1921-22 Rotary year, and District Governor during the 1923-24 year. Under his leadership many new Rotary clubs were established. He was named President of Rotary International for the 1936-37 year and served Rotary with great distinction. Until his death on January 31, 1953, he was recognized as one of the outstanding leaders of the Rotary world.
Rotarians in his home district approved plans for the Will R. Manier, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Awards at the April, 1956 District Conference. The first awards were given for the 1956-57 school year. Awards have been made annually since that time.