A West Virginia University alumnus and his wife have donated $3 million to WVU to establish endowed scholarships for students attending the University from Preston County as well as student-athletes in WVU’s basketball program.

By naming the WVU Foundation as a beneficiary of part of a paid up life insurance policy, John and Mary Anne Hardesty are donating $1 million to establish the John R. Hardesty Jr. and Mary Anne Hardesty Preston County Scholarship. The Hardestys also are contributing an additional $1 million to a WVU basketball scholarship fund they established several years ago in memory of their son, Johnny Hardesty. Use for the remaining $1 million is yet to be determined by the Hardestys.

“Sincerest thanks to John and Mary Anne for their continued generosity to West Virginia University – particularly as they help young people from their hometown area fulfill their dreams of a college education and honor their late son, Johnny, through a basketball scholarship fund in his name,” said WVU President Gordon Gee. “Such generous support will continue to foster excellence at our University.”

John Hardesty is a long time resident of Preston County with many business and family ties in the Kingwood area.

The Preston County endowment provides undergraduate scholarships for students who are Preston County residents. First preference will be given to students majoring in engineering, education or the health sciences. Recipients must have at least a 3.0 grade point average and financial need.

Students who are recipients in their freshman year are eligible each year through their senior year provided they continue to meet the selection criteria and are in good standing at the University.

The objective of the endowment is to have no fewer than two students or more than four students per academic rank receive the award annually. This past fall, the Hardestys contributed $20,000 to start the scholarship, funding one male and one female recipient.

“We extend a heartfelt thank you to John and Mary Anne for their continued generosity,” said Cindi Roth, WVU Foundation president and CEO. “This gift is going to open the doors of opportunity for many students who may not have had the chance to attend WVU. We are extremely grateful for the Hardestys’ support and commitment in helping make a college education a reality for our leaders of tomorrow.”

WVU Director of Athletics Oliver Luck added, “John and Mary Anne Hardesty have been tremendous supporters of West Virginia University Athletics over many years. We are very grateful for their generosity in the name of Johnny Hardesty, who loved WVU basketball with all his heart.”

John Hardesty graduated from WVU in 1965 with a bachelor’s degree in business and economics. He and Mary Anne are members of the Woodburn Circle Society, the WVU Foundation’s most prestigious philanthropic society, and Old Gold members of the WVU Alumni Association.

The gift was made in conjunction with _A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. The comprehensive campaign hopes to raise $750 million for WVU by December 2015.



CONTACT: Bill Nevin, WVU Foundation

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