MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The budget at the University of Memphis received an amazing boost Monday, in the form of a $2 million donation that promises to attract some of the smartest students and increase the University's ranking.
The $2 million will be used to provide more scholarships for highly sought after honors students. The goal is to attract the best and the brightest to the U of M.
"We're able through the Helen Hardin gift of $2 million dollars add more scholarships as well as to employ and retain faculty of the highest quality," University president Dr. Shirley Raines said.
Sadly, Hardin died just a week before the event that announced her gift. Her nephew, Barry Hardin, said both Helen and her husband Jabie spent their lives supporting the University of Memphis.
"They were very successful and were able to be very comfortable through their lifetimes," Barry Hardin said.
Back in the early 1940's, the Hardin's developed the Hardin-Cisco restaurant supply company. Over the years, they have given millions all over Memphis, from the university, to the zoo, to the public library.
This most recent gift was so appreciated, U of M officials decided to name the honors program after Helen Hardin.
Right now, some 1,400 high achieving honors students attend the U of M. School officials said the Hardin family's gift will enable them to provide honors scholarship to about 100 addition students next year.