One teacher’s interest made all the difference in the life of Paul Manners. A native of Dover, Tenn., Manners grew up during the Great Depression and was the top student in his high school class. A high school English teacher, Lillian Bayer, encouraged him and offered to help pay his way if he got accepted at Vanderbilt.
Bayer kept her promise, helping foot the bills for Manners’ first two years at Vanderbilt. He took out student loans and earned money any way he could to stay at Vanderbilt, where he majored in economics. “I cut yards, coached math, and worked in a bakery,” he recalls. “And I boarded with Chancellor Kirkland’s widow.”
Manners passed along his good fortune, helping to send his brother, Louie, BA’45, MA’46 (now deceased), to Vanderbilt.
As a Navy ensign during World War II, Paul also sent checks to Lillian Bayer when he could afford to. “I’m sure she helped other students, too,” he says.
The founder of Paul Manners and Associates Inc., an investment management firm headquartered in Atlanta, Manners, who turned 90 in December, honors his former teacher and helps support current Vanderbilt students through the Paul E. Manners–Lillian Bayer Scholarship Fund.
© 2015 Vanderbilt University
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