Creating Meaningful Impact in Maryland

Joseph R. Hardiman: Creating Meaningful Impact in Maryland

Growing up in a middle-class family on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Joseph R. Hardiman, LLB ’62, developed a healthy respect for the Chesapeake Bay and its environs. He has maintained a deep commitment to the environment ever since. Through his undergraduate education at the University of Maryland, College Park, while earning his degree at the Francis King Carey School of Law at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB)and during his highly successful career in law and businessHardiman added education, health care, and the arts to his portfolio of charitable interests. 

Hardiman is an avid golfer, hiker, biker, and fisherman whose philanthropy over the years has touched and enhanced numerous organizations and countless individuals. He and Kathy, his wife of 55 years, have translated their success in life and work into generous support for a variety of causes. Through their family foundation, whose board includes their two adult children, they have instilled an appreciation for giving back to the community. Their four grandchildren get into the act, too, each volunteering their time and making an annual gift through the foundation to charities of their choice. 

After law school, Hardiman practiced at Miles & Stockbridge in Baltimore before moving to the local investment banking firm of Robert Garrett & Sons, where he was determined to learn and absorb all aspects of the business. He became part of Alex. Brown & Sons’ senior leadership team after the firm purchased Garrett. In 1987, Hardiman took the helm of the nation’s pre-eminent self-regulatory organization, the National Association of Security Dealers (NASD)which owned and operated the NASDAQ Stock Market. During his -year leadership tenure as CEO of both organizations, NASDAQ’s daily trading volume grew from 130 million shares to more than 550 million shares, making it the fastest-growing stock market in the world. Since then, Hardiman has devoted his time to service on boards, investing in private early-stage companies in the education, health care, and financial services sectors, and to his philanthropic endeavors. 

While having achieved stellar success in the business arena, it is Hardiman’s commitment to improving the human condition that has permeated his life and continues to occupy much of his time and interest. He has served as a member of the UMB Foundation, Inc., board since its inception in 2000, currently chairing the finance committee. His engagement also has included stints on the University System of Maryland Foundation Board of Directors and a current assignment on the foundation’s investment committee. 

Hardiman’s gratitude to the Carey School of Law is manifested in the scholarship he established and his chairmanship of the school’s Board of Visitors during the campaign that resulted in the new law school building. In addition, he has provided generous support for UMB’s community engagement initiatives and the University of Maryland School of Social Work. 

Along with his devotion to UMB, Hardiman was a founder in 1986 and remains actively involved in the Baltimore Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound program, the first urban-based Outward Bound program in the world. He also has experienced great satisfaction from providing scholarship support for minority children from Baltimore’s inner city to St. Ignatius Loyola Academy. Ten youngsters to date have benefited from Hardiman’s patronage. 

Creativity, strong leadership, and impact that alters lives are the prime factors that Hardiman considers essential in the organizations to which he directs his philanthropy and involvement. He notes that generating positive change that touches real people continues to give him tremendous personal fulfillment. 

And that is a very affirmative circumstance for the well-being of the many people and organizations that continue to benefit from this purposeful difference-maker.