Joe Hardy, 84 Lumber magnate and Fayette County commissioner, has made a lifetime commitment to the WVU Foundation of $100,000 a year to support the West Virginia UniversityFayette County, Pennsylvania Scholarship Fund, which he has created.

Through the fund, scholarships will be available to students from all high schools in Fayette County to attend West Virginia University.

Five $5,000 scholarships will be awarded each year with a preference that no more than one be given to a student from a particular high school. The recipients will continue to receive the scholarships in succeeding years, for a maximum of four years of undergraduate studies, by remaining in good academic standing at the University. The scholarship fund will eventually support five freshmen, five sophomores, five juniors and five seniors each year.

Because he is such an exceptional entrepreneur, Joe Hardy understands the importance of education in nurturing the future leaders of this region, nation and the world,”said WVU President David C. Hardesty Jr.Given West Virginia University’s close proximity to southwestern Pennsylvania and our reasonable non-resident tuition, we hope our prestigious flagship institution is the one of choice for many students from this region.

West Virginia University prides itself on the geographic diversity of its student population of more than 23,400. The student body is comprised of 62 percent residents and 38 percent non-residents. WVU students come from 49 of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and about 90 other nations.

Education is one cornerstone for developing Fayette County,said Commissioner Hardy,In order to attract new business to this region, we must help to educate our young people.

Hardy, who graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, is the founder of 84 Lumber, which has 450 stores in 38 states, including 31 in West Virginia. In 2003, Hardy was elected as Commissioner of Fayette County, Pa. He also is owner and founder of Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Spa in the Laurel Highlands. The resort is home to the 84 Lumber Classic; a PGA TOUR event scheduled every September that raises funds for a variety of childrens charities. The 2003 event raised over $500,000 for Childrens Hospital of Pittsburgh.

The commitment was made in conjunction with the Foundations recently concluded Building Greatness Campaign, which generated more than $300 million for the benefit of the University. The WVU Foundation is a private non-profit corporation that generates and provides support for West Virginia University.