One of University of Richmond’s largest donors and the former head of a local grocery chain stepped down this month from the school’s board of trustees.
Bobby Ukrop resigned at a Dec. 7 meeting of the board, according to a source close to the family, who said Ukrop was upset by a perceived lack of transparency in the school’s decision to cut men’s soccer and track in favor of men’s lacrosse. Two other sources familiar with the UR board of trustees confirmed Ukrop’s departure.
The university announced the cuts in September, saying at the time that it couldn’t keep both programs and add a varsity lacrosse team. Ukrop publicly shared his disappointment in the board’s decision.
When reached by BizSense, Ukrop declined to comment.
UR President Ed Ayers, reached by phone, said he would not comment on the resignation. And Ann Lloyd Breeden, the secretary to the board of trustees, also declined to comment.
Ukrop, an alumnus of UR, has been a longtime and high-profile supporter of the school’s athletics programs. In addition to donating funds for various sports programs, he contributed money for the new on-campus football stadium and its predecessor, First Market Stadium. (First Market Bank was owned by the Ukrop family before it merged with Union Bankshares in 2009 to become Union First Market Bank.)
There is also an auditorium named for the Ukrop family in the UR business school.