Darden Grad’s $7M Gift Supports UVA Athletics, Student Health Facilities

26 September 2019

By Jay Hodgkins

University of Virginia Darden School of Business alumnus Robert Hardie (MBA ’95, Ph.D. ’99), who also earned his undergraduate degree from UVA and is a member of the UVA Board of Visitors, provided a major boost to the University’s Athletics Master Plan and a new Student Health and Wellness Center with a newly announced $7 million gift. Of the total, $6 million will go to the master plan with $1 million for the health and wellness center.

As reported by UVA Today, the gift is the latest in a long line of philanthropy from Hardie, who served as an adjunct lecturer at Darden from 1999–2007, and his wife, Molly.

These new gifts are in addition to the $5.5 million in major gifts the Hardies already have given to the campaign to support various areas across the University, including the UVA Children’s Hospital and various research initiatives at the Medical Center, the Darden School of Business, the Jefferson Scholars Foundation, and several athletics facilities, including Davenport Field at Disharoon Park and John Paul Jones Arena.

“We are grateful and humbled to be able to support UVA, an institution that has had a profound impact on our lives and those of our children,” the Hardies said in a statement. “Our latest gifts are testaments to the leadership and vision of Carla Williams and Pat Lampkin, as well as Jim Ryan and his team. These projects are critical to the development and well-being of student-athletes and all students.”

UVA Athletics Director Carla Williams shared how the Hardies’ latest gift will continue the family’s legacy by growing support for current and future student-athletes.

“Robert and Molly have supported our vision with their time, talent and resources since day one,” Williams said. “Their commitment to the University and UVA Athletics has been a constant source of encouragement to me, our coaches and our student-athletes. We need support for the Master Plan and I’m so thankful to both of them for helping us get closer to making the project a reality.”

The Athletics Master Plan calls for several new facilities and programs benefitting student-athletes in all 27 UVA varsity sports. It includes a new football operations center, an Olympic sports center and a renovated McCue Center, as well as space for career development, academic support, leadership, personal development and community engagement programs.

On the other side of Grounds, the Hardies’ gift will support a new Student Health and Wellness Center under construction on Brandon Avenue near the newly opened Julian Bond House student residence. The 156,000-square-foot building is expected to complete in 2021.

It will include spaces for general medicine, reproductive and gender-related health, Counseling and Psychological Services, Student Disability Access Services, Health Promotion and a retail pharmacy, as well as a traveler’s clinic designed to help students studying abroad get the immunizations and pre-travel information they need.

In addition to critically needed clinical space, the new building will provide space for wellness and preventative care, such as a teaching kitchen promoting nutrition and healthy eating, plus meditation spaces and spaces for student programs. A Student Health Advisory Committee was formed to collect student input for the center, to help ensure that it meets students’ needs.

Read the full story on UVA Today.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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