A 1984 Management graduate, Leland Hardy returned to IUP November 8 and 9, 2011, for three open sessions held over two days.
Hardy, a global marketing advisor for Hennesse Group, earned master’s degrees from Wharton School of Business and Joseph H. Lauder Institute, both at the University of Pennsylvania.
At right: Leland Hardy ’84 with Dean Robert Camp and Eberly students
During his career, Hardy served as family business advisory to Venus and Serena Williams and their family, and he created the Business Institute for Continuing Education in Professional Sports (B.I.C.E.P.S.) that is taught during NFL off-seasons at Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School. Hardy also served as Muhammad Ali’s Chinese interpreter on business and goodwill trips.
Hardy, who speaks Chinese, stressed the importance of learning at least one foreign language due to the changing world, and noted that being fluent in another language gives students a competitive edge. He encouraged students to take advantage of the opportunities offered at IUP and to connect with international students. He also stressed that learning about the world, its cultures, and its geography is important in the business world.
“I thought he’s a very knowledgeable guy, he knows a lot about the world, and he is very smart,” said freshman Marketing major William Wilt. Wilt said the drive to be successful is one thing he will take away from Hardy’s talk.
Hardy spoke to eight classes as part of his visit to IUP.
“It was great to see all of the progress that IUP has made since I left in 1984,” Hardy said. “I am convinced that IUP’s even better days lie ahead. I am pleased to learn about the international programs that the school has with Asia, Europe, and other regions. I am going to work hard to encourage the students to take full advantage of the international education opportunities that they have right at their fingertips. In addition, I believe that students need to take advantage of the many business resources that are available on campus.”
In addition to speaking to classes, Hardy spent time with IUP golf team members.
“In terms of sports, my attentions were focused on boxing while I was a student at IUP, leading to my winning the Pennsylvania Heavyweight Championship in 1983,” Hardy said. “I got into the game of golf later in life, and I've since been bitten by the proverbial golf bug. One of the highlights of my Entrepreneur-in-Residence experience was playing a round of golf with the IUP golf team at the Indiana Country Club. I thought I was doing something big by making a par on the par 5 first, only to have Crimson Hawks Derek Baker drop an eagle on me and Sean Sweithelm and Brad Boyle further ruin my day by dropping birdies on me. I look forward to following them in the upcoming 2012–2013 season and to seeing each of them and their teammates on the big-boy tour some day. All of them are excellent representatives of the university and will no doubt do us proud on the links and otherwise.”
—By Alycia King