The Hardy Foundation is dedicated to helping Native American students succeed. The foundation's generous donations created an emergency fund for Native American students at the University of Idaho who experience unexpected financial hardships.
Barbara Hardy graduated from the University of Idaho with a degree in Education in 1967. She was born and raised in Spokane. She taught at various levels of elementary education for 28 years before retiring in 2007. She is now co-owner of a house staging business in Twin Falls. She is a strong supporter of education and the University of Idaho.
Ron Hardy has long been active in Native American education, having gotten involved with the Makah Indians in 1980 through Dr. Ernie Brannon. He worked on a number of projects with the Makahs over the years. After joining Dr. Brannon in Idaho, they expanded their efforts to engage in education and research projects with various tribes, culminating in a formal collaborative program with the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission in 2000 to conduct research on population genetics of salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River basin. We have conducted several training courses for Native American tribal biologists as well as recruiting/mentoring graduate students.
Dr. Hardy is a graduate of the University of Washington (BS and PhD) and Washington State University. He is a native of western Washington. He served on the faculty of the University of Washington for 27 years, the later years as an affiliate professor after coming to University of Idaho in 1996. Dr. Hardy became the Direction of the Aquaculture Research Institute in 2002.
The Hardy's found that recruitment was only part of the equation to support Native American students; retention was equally important. The Hardy's established the scholarship to provide funds to Native American students for emergency events with the belief that supporting students during difficult periods would permit them to remain as students rather than drop out to deal with family or personal issues. Every year the Hardy's contribute to the scholarship funds, as do their friends and colleagues.