Robert Hardie

The University of Virginia announced Monday that it has received a $7 million gift from former Roanoker Robert Hardie and his wife, Molly, that mostly will go toward UVa’s athletics master plan.

Hardie, who lives in the Charlottesville area, has three degrees from Virginia and has had two terms on the UVa Board of Visitors.

The Hardie family earlier had contributed to major initiatives involving John Paul Jones Arena and UVa’s baseball facility, Davenport Field at Disharoon Park.

Virginia’s plans call for a new football operations center, an Olympic sports center and a renovated McCue Center, the building that currently houses the football program and offices for athletic director Carla Williams and her staff.

“Robert and Molly have supported our vision with their time, talent and resources since day one,” Williams said in a UVa news release. “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 price tag for the master plan is estimated at $180 million, according to the UVa news release. This summer’s demolition of University Hall, home to UVa’s basketball teams until the opening John Paul Jones Arena in 2006, was one of the first phases of the project.

The Hardies earlier had donated $5.5 million for various other UVa projects.

“As students, Robert and Molly fully embraced the student experience at UVa,” Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer Patricia Lampkin said. “As alumni, they have continued to give back in ways that honor their experience and enlarge the opportunities for students who follow them.”

Doug Doughty is in his 44th year at the Roanoke Times, having produced an estimated 10,000 by-lines, a majority of them on University of Virginia athletics.

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