Blackspace: The Legacy of Dean Hardy

The last “black spaces” in the timeline of spaces on campus that I have been researching are Lemon and Hardy halls. Lemon and Hardy, originally Jamestown North and South, are the newest residences on campus. They were opened in 2006, and ten years later were renamed for prominent African Americans at William and Mary. Lemon is named for a slave owned by William and Mary in the 18th century and not much is known about him, but Hardy was a Dean at the College who left an indelible mark on the College of William and Mary, and learning her story was one of the best parts of the research I’ve done this summer. Dr. Carroll Hardy was an educator, an inspiration, and most importantly, she was a crucial part of efforts to diversify the college after years of segregation (forced and voluntary).

Carroll Francis Stuart Hardy, or Dean Hardy as she was called by students was from Staunton, Virginia. She pursued her undergraduate degree at Livingstone College in North Carolina. According to Fanchon Glover, the Chief Diversity Officer at the college, Dr. Hardy was “always an educator,” but truly, she was so much more. Glover states, “She always had the goal of lifting as you climb. She could look at a child and see what they could be, and that was just her mantra. She always wanted to help children become who they could be and not just who society said they were going to be.”

Dr. Hardy’s first role at William and Mary was as the Associate Dean of Multicultural Affairs. When she came to the college she immediately set about trying to find out what was lending to the low rates of enrollment among students of color at William and Mary. Dr. Hardy spoke to members of the local community and found that William and Mary was seen as an ivory tower that always kept them out. In order to combat this, Dr. Hardy started six summer programs that allowed kids to come to William and Mary’s campus and take part in various camps that focused on different career paths they could take. This allowed families in the community to become familiar with William and Mary’s campus and get comfortable with the idea of sending their kids there. These summer programs ended as the grants that funded them ran out, but one summer bridge program still remains: PLUS. These summer programs are a major reason why black enrollment at the College grew.

In addition to these summer programs, Dr. Hardy began the National Black Student Leadership Conference. This conference was a place where minority students from majority white campuses could come to get empowered. Dr. Hardy understood that minority students needed support in order to thrive on majority white campuses, and she created a safe space for them. The first year that they conference was held on William and Mary’s campus, around fifty students came. The last year that it was held, around 1500 students attended.

In addition to all of these accomplishments, Dr. Hardy also started fifteen multicultural organizations and the Halon Willis Alumni Association, which is the only alumni association for black alumni. Dr. Hardy was a mentor, and a “fierce advocate for students,” Fanchon Glover stated. Without Dr. Hardy’s influence, William and Mary would definitely not be the college it is today. She is a woman who truly inspired the students that she helped in her time at the college, and her drive and spirit will remain a force on this campus into perpetuity because her name is engraved on the newest residence hall on our campus.

Comments

  1. Hi Naomi. Thank you for sharing the meaning and legacy behind Lemon and Hardy. I had only heard a few things about the naming of these two halls and learned a lot about Dr. Hardy and her impact on the school from your post. Looking forward to learning more about your research at the symposium!

  2. This post is really interesting! I always enjoy learning about the history behind William and Mary. Dr. Hardy’s contributions have had a profound effect on the school’s community. Diversity is very important for building our perspectives. I’m glad she was able to accomplish so much while she was the Associate Dean of Cultural Affairs. She is very inspirational.

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