Called “the organizer” for the work he did during his term as president of the National Association of Real Estate Exchanges to bring new local boards into the expanding national fellowship, Walter Collins Piper* had begun this service earlier as chairman of an active national committee on new exchanges. It was under his presidency and at his recommendation that the Association at its annual convention in New Orleans in 1916 formally adopted its membership designation, the coined term REALTOR®. Under Mr. Piper’s presidency the Association initiated its REALTOR® certificate and officially adopted the name, National Association of Real Estate Boards. In this year, the first national organization of real estate board secretaries convened for the first time and the Association actively recognized the appraisal committee work of its member boards.
President of the Piper-Hesse Company, Mr. Piper was a director and budget chairman of the Detroit Community Fund. A past president of the Detroit Real Estate Board, he also served as director of the Detroit Board of Commerce and was a delegate for the International Chamber of Commerce meetings in Rome and London.
Serving for two years during World War I with the rank of Major, Mr. Piper was financial officer for the Central District, Chicago, in charge of real estate. At the completion of the war, he was discharged with the rank of Lt. Col., Reserve, Finance, and assigned finance officer of the 85th Division. He later served as president of Russel Chapter of the Reserve Officers Association of the Detroit area and president emeritus of all the consolidated chapters of the Reserve Officers of the City of Detroit.
Source: Presidents of the National Association of REALTORS®, (Chicago: NAR, 1980).