Davis "donated it to the university" (presumably his employers, Virginia Tech).
"The university" then put it up for sale "to make money."
The building was a white elephant. It was an immense stroke of luck that a local person with deep pockets stepped in to keep it as it was:
“The whole building needed completely redone, and we've modernized it with public water and natural gas,” Appleby said. “We've updated everything. It cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to get this reopened. We had to go through the township's special exception process to make sure we would be doing what the building was originally used for. Historically, the Union Hotel was a bed and breakfast and tavern with a general store in the hotel.”Close call.
Update, 8/21/07. I had thought this was in WV. Mark Snell writes: "Dimitri, the Union Hotel that Jack Davis donated to Virginia Tech is not in Shepherdstown, WV. Apparently there is another Shepherdstown in PA, although I've never heard of it, and I live in Gettysburg."
I see from this that it is south of Harrisburg on Rt. 15 and shares some a legal identity with Upper Allen Township.