University of Memphis receives $3.7 million donation
The Helen and Jabie Hardin Charitable Trust donated $3.7 million to the University of Memphis. Women's athletics programs at the University will receive $2.6 million of the gift. This is the single largest donation made to women's athletics in the history of the University.
"One of our goals at the University of Memphis is to always remain at the forefront of women's athletics and to be compliant under the guidelines of Title IX and gender equity issues," Tom Bowen, athletic director, said. "With the gift from the Hardin Foundation, we can begin additional facility construction projects that will benefit our women's programs as we enter the Big East Conference next year."
Funds from this donation will be used to improve the Memphis track on the Park Avenue Campus.
"We will enlarge the footprint of the current facility, enclose the grandstands and place a full-scale soccer field in the center of the track. Both men and women's track and men and women's soccer will reap the benefits of this project," Bowen said.
This gift will also allow several advancements to be made to the women's softball stadium, including a new clubhouse with amenities such as locker rooms, coaches' offices, indoor pitching and batting areas, and a laundry room.
The money allotted to the women's athletics program is only a portion of the gift. The Helen Hardin Honors Program will receive $1 million and $100,000 will go to the U of M's School of Public Health.
"Those of us who were fortunate enough to have known Helen and Jabie Hardin recognize that they were extraordinarily civic-minded and gave generously to many community organizations," Shirley Raines, president of the U of M, said. "Our academics and athletics were recipients of their monetary support and their keen interest." n
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