With its roots dating back to 1915, Hardway Hall was the first building constructed on Fairmont State’s campus. It opened to students in 1917 and was known as the Administration Building until 1989, when it was renamed for former Fairmont State president Wendell G. Hardway.
Serving as FSU’s president from 1973 until his retirement in 1988, Dr. Hardway had a profound impact on both the school and the greater Fairmont community. He was an educator and an Army veteran and held offices in many organizations throughout his career, including the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, the United Way of Marion County, and the Marion County 4-H Foundation.
Those who knew him described him as a kind and compassionate man who treated everyone he met with respect and dignity. At the time of his passing in 2016, FSU’s then-president, Dr. Maria Rose, described Dr. Hardway as “a fine educator and president of Fairmont State. Every time he visited campus, everyone was delighted to see him. He will be missed.”
“He was a wonderful man and a wonderful person to work for,” said Lois Laughlin, who worked with him at FSU for 15 years. “He was just very nice to be around. He and his wife were lovely people and wonderful representatives of Fairmont State.”
A scholarship for education majors, the Wendell G. Hardway Award for Excellence in Teacher Education, stands in his honor today.