Chairman & Founding Trustee Walter W. Manley II
Professor Walter W. Manley, II, is an award-winning teacher (seven university awards for teaching excellence at Oxford University, Cambridge University, and Florida State University); selected by The Highest Effort Foundation as “The Outstanding Educator in America” and described by the FSU business school dean as “one of the university’s greatest teachers, scholars, and authors”; partner in the original owners‘ group of the Orlando Magic NBA team and the Orlando Sun Rays Double A baseball team; former partner in the highly-regarded state-wide law firm Macfarlane Ferguson (Florida’s oldest law firm), and earlier at Miami’s Blackwell, Walker & Gray (then Florida’s largest law firm); author of five highly praised books, two (specifically, the two volumes of the history of the Supreme Court of Florida) of which major academic journals have described as the most outstanding in their field and to which Manley devoted 10,000 hours in research, writing, and editing over 15 years; a national columnist for a major newspaper group; owner of a large agribusiness firm; major partner in firms owning commercial real estate buildings, including Highpoint Center in Tallahassee and Bayboro in St. Petersburg; former chairman or president of 16 philanthropic organizations (among organizations to which he annually has dedicated 800-1,000 hours of his volunteered time since 1982), including the Florida Endowment Foundation for Vocational Rehabilitation (Able Trust) for which he served as the first chairman, the Lakeland Bar Association (most honored in Florida history under his leadership),The Great Floridians Nominating Committee, the Duke Club of North Florida (under his leadership, the club planted $10,000 worth of historic trees with plaques in Tallahassee parks, including the George Washington Tulip Poplar, Julia Low Magnolia, George Washington Carver Green Ash, Thomas Jefferson Silver Maple, Clara Barton Redbud, Patrick Henry Osage Orange, and Abraham Lincoln Overcup Oak), the TQC Foundation, and the Polk County Legal Aid Society; and director or trustee, without compensation, of other organizations, including the Consumer Council of Florida, Workforce Florida, Enterprise Florida, Florida Real Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting Association, Webb School Board of Trustees, Duke University Board of Visitors, the National College Football Awards Association, and the Museum of Florida History and The Lawton Chiles Library. Moreover, he served as co-chairman with Emily Waugh for 15 years of the Duke University Alumni Admissions Advisory committee of North Florida.
Walter is Founding Trustee and former chairman (1996-1997 and 2012-2013, as well as 2018-2019) of the TQC Foundation, the creator and sponsor of the Biletnikoff Award, and the only major college football award without a paid employee. Manley, having devoted at least 800 hours annually to the Foundation since 1994, created the scholarship program (covering 11 North Florida counties) and its format in 1996 and has personally read and rated every one of the 4,000 scholarship applications in the program’s history, while administering the allocation of many millions of dollars in benefits to the scholarship winners (approaching 300).
He has served as TQC Foundation fundraising chairman for 23 years (in each of the last 10 years of his service, the Foundation has established a new fundraising record); banquet chairman five times (including the first two, when he created the template for the banquet (termed “the outstanding banquet in college sports” by keynoters Dick Vermeil and Larry Csonka); publicity and website chairman 9 times (including the last 8 years); selection chairman the last 8 years during which he has added 580 new voters for a total of 640 voters; and composition of printed program and seating chairman all 26 years. He has been the leading individual fundraiser, as well, for 20 straight years. For the last 26 years he has devoted 800 hours annually to the Foundation and the Biletnikoff Award. The Foundation has provided several millions of dollars in scholarships and related benefits to Leon County and the adjacent ten, primarily rural, county area students. He devised such Foundation innovations as the template of the TQC Foundation banquet (he designed the banquet as banquet chairman the first two years), finalists’ plaques, the FanVote and FanForum, preferential voting by members of the National Selection Committee, endowed scholarships, and scholarships (donated above the table sales). He arranged ESPN’s live-streaming of the Biletnikoff Award banquet, when ESPN producers heard endorsements from visiting coaches and keynoters of the 500-patron, black-tie extravaganza. The Biletnikoff Award is considered to be one of the three most prominent position-awards in college football.
By virtue of his serving as Foundation fundraising chairman for 23 years and also being the leading personal fundraiser for over two decades, and through the two scholarships he endowed in 1984 at Webb School, in 1990 at Duke’s Fuqua School, partially in 1996 for FSU, and his own personal, private sponsorship of local Leon County students, Walter has had a direct contribution, often complete contribution, in sending approximately 335 students to college, to Webb School, or to the Duke Fuqua School of Business.
For many years he has served as the Biletnikoff Award’s representative to the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA); his duties for the NCFAA include appointment with the Maxwell Award’s Mark Wolpert as the lead negotiators with ESPN concerning the contract for the Home Depot College Football Awards show, as well as appointment as mentor/advisor for the Rotary Lombardi Award, and service without compensation as legal advisor. Walter was elected to a 3 years term as an at-large NCFAA Director. Moreover, he is a Life Member of the Maxwell Football Club, an organization he greatly admires. He votes for 20 major college football and men’s and women’s basketball awards, as well as several All-America teams.
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Education and Educational Activities. Professor Manley graduated from The Webb School, founded in 1870, for which he has served as National Fund chairman, the first chairman of the Strategic Planning Committee, and a trustee on two occasions over 15 years. At Webb he excelled in academics and was an outstanding and recruited basketball and football player. He was cited by the athletic director as the school’s “greatest basketball player of the 1960s.” He was the twenty-third inductee into the Webb Distinguished Alumni Society in 2003, having been nominated by the late Jim Meadows, distinguished Yale and Cambridge oarsman and entrepreneur, as well as chairman of the board of trustees. After a trek through several universities (private and state), he graduated from Florida Southern College (The Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1999 and December of 2018 commencement speaker), Duke Law School (president of the student body), and Harvard Business School (elected as the post graduation class secretary and reunion chairman); and he studied at Harvard’s Kennedy School. In all three instances (undergraduate, law, and business school) he was accepted by Stanford University. He is a member of SAE, Psi Chi, Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Delta Phi, and was president of the Duke student body, editor of The Harbus (the Harvard Business School newspaper), and member of Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Club. In college he won the campus ping pong tournament in 1966. As president of the student body at Duke, he organized a church-sponsored, student-staffed tutoring program for 150 underprivileged children. His Harvard Business School thesis was selected as the outstanding submission in his class. At Harvard, his academic performance was outstanding: specifically, over half his course grades were ranked in the top 5% of each of those individual classes, and his Duke Law academic performance was similarly noteworthy. For the excellence of his scholarship at Harvard and his career achievements, he was selected as the sole Official Class Representative of Harvard Business School’s Class of 1975 to Harvard’s 350th Anniversary Celebration of the Founding of Harvard. Finally, he was author of the 1985 Harvard Report.
Career in Law. An accomplished lawyer, Manley was president of the Lakeland Bar Association, the most highly-honored in Florida Bar history during his presidency as winner of four first-place awards and one second-place award for excellence (The Florida Bar had established five categories), partially based on establishment of legal-aid programs for abused children and elderly persons. The association received the national first-place award for excellence of its Law Week programs from the American Bar Association. He was the very first lawyer (pro bono) for the Guardian Ad Litem program in Florida and later served as president of the Polk County Legal Aid Society. For the excellence of his philanthropic service to Floridians, Manley was awarded the Florida Bar’s 1985 President’s Pro Bono Award for his judicial circuit in a ceremony before the Supreme Court of Florida. He served as a partner in the highly-respected state-wide law firm Macfarlane Ferguson, and earlier at Miami’s Blackwell, Walker & Gray, then Florida’s largest law firm.
Career as a Professor. Manley served since 1987 as a Professor of Business Policy and Strategy at Florida State University. Former Dean Mel Stith cited Manley as “one of the university’s greatest teachers, scholars, and authors.” Manley was described by Bill Schrode, the then chairman of the management and MIS departments, as “one of the two or three most outstanding teachers” on the entire 110-member faculty of the College of Business and by Tom Clark, another former department chairman and later Dean of the LSU School of Business, as “the finest teacher in the MBA program.” Over one-half of Manley’s students over a period of 25 years rated him as “the most outstanding teacher” those students had ever had at any educational level. His MBA courses were ranked by confidential student surveys among the top-two most respected, as well as the most challenging, in the program for over two decades. He was chosen in 1997 by The Highest Effort as the “Outstanding Educator in the United States.” Beginning in 1987, Manley redirected all of his financial benefits from FSU to scholarships in the College of Business.
Professor Manley served for several years as a Visiting Professor of Ethics, Strategy, and Management Studies with a joint appointment at Cambridge University and Oxford University in England. He was a member of five faculties (philosophy, law, management studies, social and political sciences, and theology) at Cambridge and one at Oxford (law). In addition, he was a Professor of the Cambridge Federation of Theological Colleges. At Cambridge, he assisted in the establishment of an ethics and business policy institute. Professor Manley explained why he refused offers of professorships from Cambridge University (on two occasions), as well as Duke’s Fuqua School and Virginia’s Colgate Darden School: “At FSU, in the final analysis, I was very attached to my students and felt I was making a difference for them.”
Career as an Author and Journalist. Professor Manley has authored five highly acclaimed books, including one each for publishers Prentice Hall (Executive’s Handbook of Model Business Conduct Codes, 1991, foreword by Bob Stovall), Greenwood Quorum (Critical Issues in Business Conduct,1990, forewords by Governor LeRoy Collins and Bob Stovall), and Routledge (in Great Britain, The Handbook of Good Business Practice, 1992). These books examine critical legal, social, and ethical issues in business conduct. The U.S. books included the active collaboration of 85 CEOs and other top executives of 276 of America’s best managed firms, most of which are Fortune 500 members. The book published by Routledge was supported by the active participation of the managing directors of 125 of Britain’s largest and best managed companies.
The fourth book, History of the Supreme Court of Florida and Its Antecedent Courts, 1821-1917 (1997), co-authored with distinguished historian Canter Brown, was published by the University Press of Florida, the scholarly publishing arm of the State University System of Florida. Among the generous reviews were the following: “The most comprehensive treatment of any state supreme court…groundbreaking research…an important contribution to both Florida and Southern history.” The Journal of Southern History (Rice University). “It will be a standard source of reference for Florida’s legal, judicial, and political development…it constitutes the best legal history for the state.” The Florida Bar Journal. “It’s essential to serious preservers and pursuers of Florida’s past.” The Florida Times Union. “Any who teach Florida history, constitutional law, or the history of the judiciary should consider adopting this book for their courses.” The Florida Historical Quarterly. “This beautifully researched book….” Tampa Bay History. “A masterful work…exceptionally well-researched and written…it is a ‘must read’ for anyone with interest in Florida’s history or its judiciary.” The Record: The Journal of Florida Appellate Review.“This book is undoubtedly the leader in state judicial histories and is required for any serious Florida history collection…. this important book thoroughly addresses the state’s overall political, social, economic, legal, and constitutional development, and is a reliable source for historians, students, and lawyers alike….” H-Net Review. The book was a finalist for the 1998 Littleton-Griswold Prize in American Law & Society. Manley devoted 5,400 hours over seven years in the completion of this book.
Excerpts from the three forewords for the first volume include:
“This superb work…[created by] several years of meticulous research and skillful writing…would have been of immense value to me as a lawyer, attorney general, and supreme court justice.”
Richard W. Ervin, Attorney General of Florida, 1949-64; Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida, 1964-75; Chief Justice, 1969-71
“This major and outstanding work…requiring exhaustive research, accurate…reflection on records…establishes a lofty standard for state high court histories.”
Stephen C. O’Connell, Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida, 1955-67; Chief Justice, 1967; President of the University of Florida, 1967-73
“This unprecedented work offers a thoughtful, meticulously researched examination of the Florida judicial system’s evolution…masterfully crafted…an absorbing, powerful explication…”
Kenneth W. Starr, Justice, U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, 1983-89; Solicitor General of the United States, 1989-93
The second volume, The Supreme Court of Florida 1917-1972 (2006), also written by Brown and Manley and published by the University Press of Florida, was similarly received and reviewed. Manley devoted 4,600 hours over eight years in the completion of this second volume.
Further, Professor Manley’s insights from highly productive professional, business, and academic careers provided an interesting perspective for his monthly articles (2,000 words) in the Editorial & Opinion section of the Sunday edition of the Orlando Sentinel. Moreover, he authored a business ethics column for Knight Ridder newspapers from 1991 through 1993. Manley’s own reviews of books have appeared in The Journal of Southern History (Rice University) and The Florida Historical Quarterly.
Finally, Manley is a member of the National Football Foundation, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA), and the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA), with special interest in Duke, Yale, Harvard, and Stanford athletics, college football conferences, particularly the Big Ten, Pac-12, Big 12, ACC, and SEC, and every underdog team and conference in America.
Manley is a member of the national selection committees for the following prestigious football awards:
The Maxwell Award
The Bednarik Award
The Jim Thorpe Award
The Outland Trophy
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy
The FWAA All-America Team
The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award
and The Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award
In addition, Manley is a member of the national selection committees for the following prestigious college basketball awards:
The Oscar Robertson Trophy
The Henry Iba Award
The Wayman Tisdale Award
The Ann Meyers Drysdale Award
The Women’s National Coach of the Year
The College Football Hall of Fame Members
and The United States Basketball Writers Association Men’s All-America Team
Leadership in Other Philanthropic Activities. Professor Manley, profoundly moved by the concept of “Service Above Self” since joining the Winter Haven Rotary Club in 1975, has dedicated 800-1,000 hours annually in volunteer-service to others and has served as chairman or president of 16 organizations, including the Florida Endowment Foundation for Vocational Rehabilitation (Able Trust), the Lakeland Bar Association, the Polk County Legal Aid Society, the TQC Foundation, and the Florida North Shore Technology Center (FSU’s high-tech business incubator). He wrote the curriculum for each class and taught numerous leadership training classes for Leadership Tallahassee for the 1995-96 term at the request of a former student who was the Leadership Tallahassee chairperson and Dean Mel Stith, a member of the LT advisory committee. In addition, Walter has served as a director or trustee for several organizations, including the Consumer Council of Florida, Workforce Florida, Enterprise Florida, Webb School Board of Trustees, Duke University Board of Visitors, and the National College Football Awards Association.
Rotary. Walter has been an active Rotarian in the Winter Haven (12 years) and Tallahassee (28 years) clubs for 40 years; during those 40 years he served on several occasions as a director, on many other occasions on committees to assist directors, and helped lead several major fundraising enterprises. He has volunteered for numerous Rotary activities, served on several committees for fundraising events like the Rotary auction, personally raised all of the funds to pay for Paul Harris fellowships for former Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce president Joe Kelley (in recognition of his dynamic leadership in improving the economy of Leon County) and for his son Ben Manley (in recognition of his being the most highly decorated scout in Florida history– having earned all 121 merit badges and 15 palms, won the National Hornaday Award for conservation, and attained Eagle scout at age 12, the youngest in Florida history), has been a major sponsor on at least 2 occasions and financial supporter on other occasions of Rotary roasts, has offered and had his Montana home sold for vacation use at Rotary events such as auctions, and has been a Major Donor Level 2 for the Tallahassee club. Having had two close childhood friends lose their lives to polio, Walter considers Rotary one of the world’s greatest organizations and its fight to eradicate polio one of the most outstanding humanitarian actions ever taken by a volunteer-based organization.
Because he had created the highly regarded Biletnikoff Award Banquet and had served as banquet chairman for the first two years (later broadcast by ESPN and hailed by keynoters Dick Vermeil and Larry Csonka as “the outstanding banquet in college sports”), Walter was tasked by Rotary’s president to be co-chairman of the 75th Anniversary of the Founding of the Rotary Club of Tallahassee Banquet. Personally devoting 250 hours to the task, he and the co-chairman over two-and-a-half months created and planned the banquet in every detail from budget, to menu, decor, to photo opportunity, to speakers, and recruited the keynoter for 320 guests–the first banquet held in the new UCC ballroom.
Drawing on his experience and knowledge in having created the FSU MBA course Ethical Aspects of Business Policy and his having written the Knight Ridder newspapers’ column titled Ethics in Business for several years, Manley provided the framework– ethical avenues of inquiry– for judging, free of arbitrariness, an ethical organization while serving on the Rotary Club’s Ethics in Business Award committee during its organizing sessions.
Other Service and Leadership Positions. Manley has also served Sigma Alpha Epsilon as Province Epsilon (Florida, Georgia, and Alabama) Deputy Archon as well as Archon of Province Nu Epsilon (Florida) of Sigma Alpha Epsilon; a member of the Consumer Council of Florida; chairman of the Great Floridians Nominating Committee for many years; a member of the Workforce Florida board of directors; a member of Duke’s Board of Visitors and Major Capital Gifts Committee; on several Harvard committees, including reunion and capital gifts; and on the Executive Committee of the first Board of Directors of the University Center Club. A chapter advisor for Duke’s NC Nu chapter and FSC’s FL Gamma chapter, Walter has also served on several occasions as a faculty member of the SAE Leadership School, based at the national headquarters, the Levere Memorial Temple, in Evanston, IL. He was the very first inductee of the Florida Gamma Chapter of SAE Hall of Fame, recognized for his career achievements. The Jones-Manley Award, established in 2012 by Florida Gamma and named after Gamma SAEs William Foster Jones and Walter W. Manley, II, recognizes the chapter’s outstanding brother each semester. Moreover, he established a scholarship and a prize in music and foreign languages in his mother’s name at his preparatory school, The Webb School. Manley was recognized by the Economic Development Council of Tallahassee in 1996 for his “outstanding leadership” in creating value for the local economy.
Manley has endowed a family-named professorship in American Studies at Duke University and a family-named scholarship at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. He has underwritten several projects/gifts/rooms/alcoves/reception areas at Harvard and Duke, as well as portraits of former professors. He has provided significant donations to fund two FSU athletic scholarships, including one honoring Coach Bobby Bowden.
Other Designations and Activities. Manley was appointed as the first Life Trustee of the Florida Supreme Court Historical Society and he remains at present the sole Life Trustee. He is the subject and recipient of the only proclamation issued in the history of the Supreme Court of Florida titled, A Proclamation of Praise and Appreciation of Walter W. Manley II; he has profound respect for that high court, having dedicated 10,000 hours over 15 years in research, co-writing, and editing the two volumes of its history. Moreover, Professor Manley is a Trustee of the Museum of Florida History and of the Lawton Chiles Library. He was the founder of the Duke Club of North Florida, and served for 15 years as co-chairman of the Duke Alumni Admissions Advisory Committee with local attorney Emily Waugh, as well as a member of the Harvard Interview Committee of North Florida. He was a member of Miami’s Tiger Bay Club, the original political club in Florida. Finally, Manley was featured in the Viewpoint (formal interview) section of the January 1994 Florida Trend magazine. He was chosen in 1997 by The Highest Effort as the “Outstanding Educator in the United States.” In 2015, Walter became a Rotary Major Donor. He is a member of the National Football Foundation, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). He delivered the commencement address for the fall semester graduation at Florida Southern College on December 15, 2018. Manley won the Florida Bar President’ s Pro Bono Award for his circuit based on outstanding philanthropic service to Floridians. Finally, he was the sole home-room parent or co-home-room for the 4th, 5th, and 6th graders at Holy Comforter Episcopal School in Tallahassee.
Hobbies. Professor Manley holds FAA licenses in gliders (sailplanes), power planes, and hot air balloons. He and his wife Linda Laravea Benear, a many times award-winning Jacksonville interior designer with 4 Duval County/Jacksonville Historic Preservation awards and one Green Building Council award of merit, are avid fly fishers and wing shooters. He held the record for the largest striped bass (49 pounds, 11 ounces) caught on a fly in the Chesapeake Bay for two years, and has caught sailfish and marlin on fly rods. A dedicated conservationist, he is a member of Pheasants Forever, Life Member of Montana Wild Sheep Foundation, Quail Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited, and the National Wild Turkey Federation (he achieved a grand slam). Three of his English setters have won a combined 57 first through fourth place ribbons (including 13 first places and 18 second places) in horseback field trials (quail) from Hartford, CT, to Houston, TX, and have been designated AKC Field Trial Champions. Maintaining a keen interest in politics, especially polling, he has managed several political campaigns. A bibliophile, he maintains a library of over 4,000 volumes and is an avid skier. A rosarian, he has won first place ribbons at the Imperial Polk County Rose Show.
Family. Professor Manley is married to Linda Laravea Benear. Linda is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s College of Architecture, holds ASID and LEED AP ratings, and is CEO and owner of the many times award-winning (4 Historic Preservation awards and 1 Green Building Council award) Benear Interiors of Jacksonville, which is an independent firm located in the Eng Engineering building in Jacksonville, FL. He has a daughter, Marjorie (Pine Crest School, Duke), and a son, Ben (Duke), both of whom were outstanding athletes, scholars, and scouts (Ben, youngest Eagle in Florida history at 12; all 121 merit badges by 16 – the youngest to garner all in U.S. Scouting history; recipient of the national Hornaday Award for Conservation, 15 palms). In recognition of Ben as the most accomplished scout in Florida history, the Suwannee River Council of BSA named a new building at Wallwood in his name. Ben was highly recruited in tennis by a number of universities (including Rice and the Ivies) and is a member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America, received the Heart of the Lion Trophy at Leon High School, was awarded an academic/leadership scholarship to Duke University, won a place on the highly regarded Duke club tennis team through an elimination tournament of 66 players, and is named after two great uncles: one, Marine pilot Ben (ranked first in his Naval aviation class at Pensacola), KIA in the Pacific at Espiritu Santo; and, the other, Army Air Corps P-47 ace Ben (awarded 3 DFCs, the Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, and 2 Bronze Stars). The family enjoys travel to national parks. Ben and his father have visited all 52 national parks in the lower 48 states, as well as six of the eight in Alaska.
Grandchildren are Cameron and Madeline Posada (Ivan and Marjorie of Dallas, TX).