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January 06, 2014

Hardaway Family: Historical Legacy at USC Spurs Philanthropic Bonds

The Hardaways of Greenville, S.C., exemplify a family’s strong generational ties to the University of South Carolina matched by a generous history of giving back to USC programs through philanthropy.

Tracy Hardaway, ’71, journalism, a financial advisor with UBS, and husband Charles Hardaway, a retired financial advisor formerly with Morgan Stanley, have made substantial gifts to Carolina over the years. Through their owns gifts and a family trust established by Tracy’s parents, the late Bill and Connie Timmons, those gifts have positively impacted the South Carolina Honors College, Alumni Center building fund, USC Athletics, College of Engineering and Computing, and School of Journalism.

Explaining part of the family’s passion for Carolina, Tracy said her father Bill Timmons attended the university from 1942 to 1943 before being drafted by the Army Air Corps. While held back at Maxwell Field in Alabama as a flight instructor, he contracted polio, requiring him to walk with a cane. During time spent at the Army-Navy Hospital in Hot Springs, Ark., he met his future wife, Connie, a nurse. They were blessed with eight children.

Bill Timmons continued his education at Furman while managing investments for the family business in Greenville, Canal Insurance Co. But his time at USC was special. “President James McKissick used to have all the Greenville-area students over to the President’s House for supper,” Tracy said.

caption: Tracy and Charles Hardaway, center, celebrate their gift of named tennis courts in the company of youngest son Robert, left, and Athletics Director Ray Tanner, far right.Tracy and Charles’ four sons continue the Hardaway family legacy at USC. Chad, ’96, Todd, ’97, Eric, ’01, and Robert, ’12, have each enjoyed success in their careers. Chad and Todd received Honors College educations; Chad is director of licensing for USC at the FABER Entrepreneurship Center; and Todd works in commercial real estate. Eric is with Fluor Corporation, and youngest son Robert, who received his master’s degree in accounting at USC, works as an accountant for Ernst and Young.

The Honors College is near and dear to the Hardaways, a major reason they plan to increase the Connie and Bill Timmons Scholarship endowment to become a Carolina Scholar scholarship. It is the University’s most prestigious scholarship for academically talented in-state students.

Tracy and Charles look forward to the opening of a new USC Alumni Center in the spring of 2015 and have contributed to its future success. “In our three extended stays in Omaha, we attended all games in the two USC college World Series victories and runner-up series. In so doing, we had a chance to visit the alumni centers at the university of Nebraska at Lincoln and Omaha and realized how essential it was to have a place for alumni to gather,” Tracy and Charles said. “Our alumni deserve a special place and we are thrilled to help make it a reality.”

The Hardaways have also given substantially to USC Athletics—funds used to help augment the baseball and tennis facilities. They are avid Gamecock Club members, and play competitive tennis. They have eight grandchildren who provide hope for the next Hardaway legacies at USC.
–Larry Di Giovanni, Development Communications