The Ron Rosner Arena was officially named at a halftime ceremony during a UMW men’s basketball game against Virginia Wesleyan College on Wednesday, Dec. 16. The University of Mary Washington Board of Visitors voted last month to establish the Ron Rosner Athletic Endowment and to recognize Rosner for his generosity by naming an arena in his honor. The arena is within the William M. Anderson Center.
Rosner’s gift of $500,000 will fund the Ron Rosner Athletic Endowment. The annual endowment will support the UMW athletic program to benefit student-athletes and the local community.
“While Ron is a very successful entrepreneur in the automobile industry, he is so much more than that. He is a leader in our community,” said Ken Tyler, director of athletics. “We are extremely grateful for this transformative gift to UMW Athletics. We are happy to partner with him in such a meaningful way. His generosity will provide significant opportunities to our student-athletes for many years to come.”
Rosner, founder and chairman of the board for the Rosner Automotive Group, is a long-time supporter of the University and the greater Fredericksburg community. At UMW, he sponsored lectures by National Geographic photographer Annie Griffiths and husband-and-wife journalists Jennifer Griffin of the Fox News Channel and Greg Myre of National Public Radio. Rosner also has contributed to numerous charities in the region, including the Rappahannock Area YMCA and its Ron Rosner YMCA of Spotsylvania County.
“The community has been so generous to me,” Rosner said. “The University of Mary Washington is a great asset to the region and an integral part of the community. I hope my gift will help bolster the University’s already strong athletics program.”
A native of New York City, Rosner served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador in the late 1960s. He later studied at American University in Washington, D.C., earning his bachelor of arts in international service in 1970 and his master’s in international service in 1972.
To pay his way through graduate school, he began working at a Toyota dealership in Falls Church in 1970. In 1979, he purchased the Toyota dealership in Fredericksburg. By 2015, the Rosner Automotive Group had grown to include seven franchises, nine stores and 500-plus employees. In the fall of 2015, Rosner and his partner, stepson Clay Huber, restructured the company, dividing its stores and franchises into the Rosner and Huber Automotive Groups.