Justin Hardy Courage Fund established to support scholar-athletes

Justin Hardy was a positive force on and off the court. He died May 29, 2022, of Stage 4 stomach cancer, a rare and devastating diagnosis in someone so young. (Photo: Danny Reise/Washington University)

In honor of recent graduate and basketball star Justin Hardy, an anonymous donor has made a pledge of $500,000 to endow the Justin Hardy Courage Fund at Washington University in St. Louis. To encourage support for the fund, the donor has committed another $500,000 to match tribute gifts made by others. 

The Justin Hardy Courage Fund will support programs and services that advance the well-being and career development of scholar-athletes. 

Hardy died May 29, 2022, after a 13-month battle with Stage 4 stomach cancer. He was 22 and had graduated in December with a degree in accounting and finance from Olin Business School. Despite the toll the cancer took on his body, Hardy continued to serve as a positive force on and off the court.

His courage and commitment to his teammates inspired countless fans across the nation, including the donor, a trustee and former WashU scholar-athlete, said Chancellor Andrew D. Martin. 

“Like so many of us, this anonymous donor wanted to pay tribute to Justin’s legacy,” Martin said. “He was deeply inspired by Justin’s tenacity, courage, selflessness and love of family. He voiced what so many others are saying — that Justin should be celebrated uniquely and in a way that signifies his ongoing impact at WashU.” 

Those who wish to participate in the challenge can make a gift online or contact Nancy Barter of University Advancement at nancy_barter@wustl.edu.