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$1M Endowment to Establish Graduate Fellowships at OU

The gift, made possible by Leslie and Clifford Hudson, will establish an endowment for two annual fellowships for graduate students in the College of Public Health.

NORMAN – University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren announced today a $1 million gift to the University from Dr. Leslie Hudson and Mr. Clifford Hudson of Oklahoma City to benefit graduate students in the OU College of Public Health. The gift will establish an endowment for two annual fellowships for graduate students in the college.

“The Hudsons are deeply committed to improving the health of all Oklahomans,” said OU President David L. Boren. “Their commitment to the training of the best possible health professionals will have an impact on the quality of life for many people and for years to come.”

In recognition of the gift, Boren said he will recommend to the OU Board of Regents that fellowship recipients be named Hudson Fellows in Public Health.

“Educating and supporting the future generation of public health scientists who will do cutting edge research on the current public health challenges such as tobacco use prevention, cancer prevention, and promotion of healthy youth behavior is critical to improving the health of Oklahoma and the nation,” observed the Hudsons. “We are pleased that our gift will help support the career development of these young scholars and researchers.”  

With their gift, the Hudsons established an endowment to recruit and retain the best and brightest students in the graduate programs at the College of Public Health and to address matters related to public health. Through their financial support, each year two deserving doctoral candidates will pursue new discoveries to inform public health practices that will protect and improve the public’s health in Oklahoma and beyond.

Dr. Leslie Hudson earned a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy, a master’s in public health and a doctorate in epidemiology from the University of Oklahoma. She also served as a faculty member in the OU College of Public Health, specializing in biostatistics and epidemiology. She continued her service with OU Health Sciences Center as a member of the advisory boards of the College of Public Health and the OU Breast Institute.

Clifford Hudson has spent the last 30 years of his career as an Oklahoma City businessman. He graduated from OU, which he attended with Phi Beta Kappa and President’s Leadership scholarships. In 2001, he received the OU Regents’ Alumni Award, and in 2011 he received OU’s highest honor, an honorary doctoral degree in humane letters.

The OU College of Public Health trains public health scientists who pursue research on contemporary issues in public health such as tobacco use prevention, the prevention and control of infectious and chronic diseases, the role of environmental exposures in health and the administration of health care systems. One of only 50 accredited schools of public health in the United States, the college provides graduate and professional education for research scientists and for public health practice professionals throughout the state of Oklahoma and the region.