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Mendenhall position to be named for Roanoke family

Mendenhall position to be named for Roanoke family

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Cynthia and Heywood Fralin

Cynthia and Heywood Fralin of Roanoke are longtime benefactors of the University of Virginia.

Roanoker Heywood Fralin, a 1962 graduate of the University of Virginia who has supported UVa programs in various areas, has joined with his wife, Cynthia, in pledging $5 million for the endowment of UVa’s head football coaching position.

Matching funds will create a permanent endowment of $7.5 million toward a position currently held by Bronco Mendenhall, whose official title will be “The Fralin Family Head Football Coach.”

Heywood Fralin is a past member of the UVa Board of Visitors, serving as rector and vice rector. He also has been a longtime officer in the Virginia Athletics Foundation. He is chairman of Roanoke County-based Medical Facilities of America, a nursing and rehabilitation care company.

“This is an amazing gesture and I am overwhelmed and humbled by the generosity and thoughtfulness from Cynthia and Heywood,” Mendenhall said in a news release. “Heywood’s vision and passion are only matched by his ability to blaze a path and set an example for others to follow.”

Fralin previously had made gifts to John Paul Jones Arena and Scott Stadium and various “enhancements” for football and men’s basketball.

Virginia athletic director Carla Williams was quick to express her appreciation to the Fralin family.

“It is also important for me to note Heywood has been a tremendous friend to both Bronco and myself,” said Williams, who was named Virginia’s athletic director in October 2017. “His wisdom and guidance have been critical for me.

“The past nine months have been challenging and it is our hope that this gift from the Fralins will compel others to consider supporting us during these difficult times.”

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