Vaughn Hardin ’90 counts his father and JWU among the great influences on his life. In tribute to his dad, in 2007 Hardin established the Richard A. Hardin Scholarship for Culinary Advancement to give others a chance to attend his alma mater. Richard Hardin grew up in Cherry Hill, N.J., worked in food service at Ohio State and Cornell, and developed in-house and international food service programs for MBNA America. He was one of the founders of Society for Foodservice Management.
“My father was really kind of a pioneer in the business dining industry and he’s dedicated his life to food service,” Hardin says. “Watching how hard he worked and the amount of integrity he displayed throughout his career ... taught me a lot about keeping a positive attitude, staying diligent and taking care of your people.”
Working his way through culinary classes while juggling multiple jobs, he was in the first graduating class of Johnson & Wales as a university. Upon graduation, MBNA founder Charles Cawley “took an interest” in Hardin. He leveraged his success at MBNA and today runs Hardin & Associates, a personal assistant/conceirge service, handling anything from buying and selling artwork to travel, meeting and event planning and managing assets such as antiques, jewelry or wine cellars.
Searching for the perfect Christmas gift for his parents, Barbara and Richard, Hardin and wife, Heather, endowed a scholarship to show appreciation. He says, "There were a lot of tears shed. They’re the best parents that I could have possibly hoped for and it’s a great school, The first scholarship will be awarded in Fall 2008.