Frank Laird Waller was an American athlete who specialized in the 400 metres. He graduated from Menomonee (WI) High School, and later the University of Wisconsin in 1907. After his college graduation, Waller went on tour with the singer Lillian Russell as her pianist. When he lived in Chicago he knew William T Purdy and Carl Beck, who together wrote the University of Wisconsin fight song "On Wisconsin." Waller told Purdy about a contest and $100 prize to write a University of Minnesota fight song. Carl Beck convinced Purdy it should be presented to the University of Wisconsin as their fight song.