Whitt Clement to become U.Va. rector on July 1
Charlottesville businessman, philanthropist Robert Hardie will be vice rector
Former Virginia Secretary of Transportation Whitt Clement will start his two-year term as rector for the University of Virginia on July 1.
Clement is a longtime former state delegate who is now a special counsel and former partner for the Richmond-based law firm Hunton Andrews Kurth. He will succeed U.Va.’s current rector, James B. Murray Jr., managing general partner of Charlottesville-based Court Square Ventures.
The school’s new vice rector will be Robert D. Hardie, co-chairman and CEO of Charlottesville-based H7 Holdings LLC, which owns the Keswick Hall hotel in Virginia and The Hermitage Hotel in Nashville. A noted philanthropist, Hardie and his wife, Mollie, donated $7 million to U.Va. in 2019 for the school’s Athletics Master Plan and a new student health facility. Hardie is also co-chairman and CEO of Charlottesville-based investment firm Level One Partners. He earned a bachelor’s degree, MBA and doctorate in management from U.Va.
Clement was appointed to U.Va.’s board of visitors in 2015 by Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Hardie is serving his second stint on the board, having been appointed by Gov. Tim Kaine in 2008 and by McAuliffe in 2017.
“It has been a singular honor and pleasure to work with Jim Murray, who is a gifted leader,” U.Va. President Jim Ryan said in a statement. “He has not only helped the university navigate challenges like the pandemic, but also has overseen great progress on the 2030 Strategic Plan and the ‘Honor the Future’ campaign. I am heartened that he will remain as a board member while Whitt Clement and Robert Hardie will step into the rector and vice rector roles, respectively. I’ve relied on Whitt’s wisdom and devotion to the University of Virginia since I became president, and Robert’s dedication to supporting the U.Va. student experience has been invaluable. I look forward to working closely with them in the years to come.”
Clement, who holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a law degree from U.Va., is a founding trustee and member of the UVA College Foundation. A past president of the Virginia Bar Association, he is also a former chair of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.
“It’s a great privilege to lead such a strong, dedicated board and I look forward to working with my colleagues, President Ryan and his leadership team as we transition from the extraordinary year of the pandemic to more normal times,” Clement said.