Clifford Hudson received his undergraduate degree in history from OU, from which he also received an honorary doctorate in humane letters in 2011. He holds a juris doctorate from Georgetown University, where he served as chair of the Board of Visitors from 2013-2016. In 2014, Georgetown University awarded him the John Carroll Award, its highest alumni recognition. Hudson spent 35 years of his career at Sonic Corp., an Oklahoma City-based, publicly held company that owns, operates and franchises SONIC Drive-In restaurants. He left the company upon its sale in December 2018 and joined the law firm Crowe & Dunlevy as Of Counsel in the firm’s Oklahoma City office. From 1994-2001, Hudson served as Chairman of the Board of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, a presidential appointment, and from 2005-2017, he served on the Board of Trustees of the Ford Foundation (New York).
Leslie Hudson received her undergraduate degree in physical therapy, a master’s degree in public health and a doctoratal degree in epidemiology at the OU Health Sciences Center. She was a faculty member in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology until 2000 and currently serves as a member of the Advisory Board of the Hudson College of Public Health at the OUHSC. In 2017, Hudson received the OU Regents’ Alumni Award and in 2019 was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters by the University of Oklahoma. Currently, she chairs the Margaret Annis Boys Trust/Parks & Public Space Initiative at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation and the Greater Oklahoma City Parks & Trails Foundation. She serves on the Board of Directors of Thrive: A Sexual Health Collective for Youth, whose goal is to reduce teen pregnancy in central Oklahoma, and the Kirkpatrick Family Fund, a charitable fund supporting civic and cultural causes that impact citizens in central Oklahoma and beyond.
Clifford and Leslie Hudson established the Hudson Family Endowed Scholarship and the Hudson Fellows in Public Health program to support graduate education in public health at OU. In addition to providing fellowships, the Hudson Fellows program supports an annual symposium that brings national leaders in public health research, policy and education to the University to discuss topics of importance in the field. In recognition of the Hudsons’ support, the OU Board of Regents named the College of Public Health in their honor in 2018. The Hudson College of Public Health and the College of Arts and Sciences are partners on a new joint degree program.
The Hudsons’ also have created the Hudson Family Fellowships in support of graduate students in the Department of History. Their commitment to ensuring the availability of health education and cultural opportunitiesto the citizens of Oklahoma exemplifies the college’s commitment to transformative public service. Clifford and Leslie Hudson will be presented with the Distinguished Service Award in honor of their transformative service to the state and University.