Dr. Wendell Gary Hardway, former president of Fairmont State College (now University), passed away early Friday morning (June 17, 2016) at the Putnam Center, a Genesis Facility, in Hurricane.
He was a former resident of Fairmont, and Morgantown. He was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Hannah Lou Garrett Hardway, in 2012.
He was born March 5, 1927, in Bolair, a son of the late Ressie and Elsie Hardway.
Dr. Hardway received his first five years of formal education in a one-room school, Hollister School of Webster County. He completed his public education at Cowen High School in Webster County.
After completing one year of studies at West Virginia University, he entered the U.S. Army during World War II and served for two years, with most of the time being spent in Italy. Upon discharge, he returned to WVU and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1949. He then taught for five years at Troy High School in Gilmer County, during which time he earned a Master of Science Degree from WVU.
In 1954, he was employed as instructor of science at Glenville State College. He continued graduate study at The Ohio State University, where he was awarded the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in 1959. He continued employment at Glenville State College as chairman of the Division of Education and Psychology and director of student teaching.
In 1966, he was appointed president of Bluefield State College, Bluefield, and held that position for seven years. In 1973, he was appointed president of Fairmont State College, where he served for 15 years until his retirement in 1988.
Both schools honored Dr. Hardway by naming buildings in his honor, the Wendell G. Hardway Library in Bluefield and Hardway Hall (administration building) at Fairmont State.
Dr. Hardway held several offices in both civic and professional organizations throughout his career. They include president of the Bluefield Chamber of Commerce, president of Marion County United Way, president of the Glenville Rotary Club and vice president of the Bluefield Rotary Club and the Marion County Chamber of Commerce. He was prime minister of the Ambassador's Club in Fairmont, a director of the Flat Top National Bank of Bluefield, and a director of City National Bank of Fairmont and its successors, Mountaineer Bank Shares and One Valley Bank. He served in these later capacities for a total of 25 years.
He was the first president of the Marion County 4-H Foundation and served for five years. He was also a member of the West Virginia 4-H Foundation. He served as a board member of both the Marion County Chamber of Commerce and the FICC. During his career he served as state president of the Association Student Teaching, the Council of State College and University Presidents, The Association of West Virginia Colleges and Universities, and the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Council. He was the first President of the WVU Alumni Association of Phi Delta Theta.
Honors received by Dr. Hardway include selection as "Man of the Year" in Bluefield, "Outstanding West Virginia 4-H Alumnus," "Centennial Award of The Ohio State College of Agriculture" and "Outstanding Alumnus of the WVU Agriculture, Forestry and Home Economics." He received the "Honorary State and American Farmer Degrees" from the FFA.
In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by a brother, Garland Hardway; a sister, Genelda Floto; and a nephew, Alan Hardway. Survivors include two nephews, Ronald Hardway and Charles Floto; and a special grandnephew, Lewis Hardway.
Dr. Hardway has chose cremation services. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Ford Funeral Home, R.C. Jones Chapel, 1410 Country Club Road, Fairmont.
The family will receive friends from 10-11 a.m. Thursday in the LIFE United Methodist Church, 1564 Mary Lou Retton Drive, Fairmont,. The memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. in the church with Reverend Clyde Beard officiating. The committal will be held in the Grandview Memorial Gardens.
Online condolences may be made to the family at www.fordfuneralhomes.com.
Published on June 18, 2016