University of Oklahoma President Jim Gallogly announced a $5 million leadership gift from Dr. Leslie Hudson and Mr. Clifford Hudson of Oklahoma City to benefit scholarship and scientific discovery at the OU College of Public Health.
In recognition of the Hudsons’ generosity and longstanding commitment to the advancement of public health, Gallogly announced the OU Board of Regents has officially named the college the Hudson College of Public Health.
“This is an exciting day for this college and for our OU community. With the generous support of the Hudsons, the College of Public Health will expand and strengthen support for top graduate students from throughout Oklahoma, our nation and the world – students who will become our future public health scientists and professionals,” said Gallogly. “This gift eases the financial burden on these talented scholars as they research how to improve human health — studying tobacco prevention and cessation, obesity, the relationship between environmental exposures and cancer, chronic diseases such as diabetes and so much more. All of these impact us daily where we live, work and play. By supporting public health research and education, the Hudsons are helping ensure healthier tomorrows for all of us.”
Gallogly noted the Hudsons’ gift advances research and excellence in public health by investing in people and programs.
“The importance of public health cannot be overestimated. As you scan human history over the past three centuries and look forward to the next, the major contributions to the quality and length of human life have been, and will be, in the realm of advances in public health,” said Dr. Hudson. “The College of Public Health at OU is engaged in the highest level of training for public health practitioners, researchers and specialists in behavioral, environmental and occupational health. Its graduates lead health care institutions, protect and improve the public’s health and shape health policy throughout the state and across the nation. Our expanded financial support speaks to our belief in the students, faculty and administration of the College of Public Health and the role they will play in all of our futures.”
Leslie and Cliff Hudson have long supported the mission of the university and the College of Public Health at the OU Health Sciences Center, the academic partner of OU Medicine.
“The College of Public Health is the premier institution of its type in Oklahoma and performs the unique function of preparing public health practitioners and researchers for addressing specific issues of health concern affecting broad portions of our communities,” Mr. Hudson said. “Leslie and I are hopeful that our increased support will enable the college to attract and retain the strongest students and assist those same students in attaining a level of academic and professional preparation from which Oklahoma communities might benefit for decades to come.”
In 2013, the Hudsons established the Hudson Family Endowed Scholarship to provide financial assistance to students in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology preparing for careers in community-based health. Two years later, they announced a gift of $1 million to establish the Hudson Fellows in Public Health program and the annual Hudson Fellows Symposium. An additional $1 million gift was made in 2017 to increase the number of available fellowships. Today’s gift again expands the Hudson Fellows program, helping to ease the financial burden on scholars as they work to further their education and answer critical questions underpinning public health.
“The Hudsons have shown their continued, steadfast commitment to education and to the power of public health to positively impact our state, our nation and the world,” said Gary Raskob, dean of the OU College of Public Health. “This is a transformational gift. It helps ensure our college can continue to attract and educate the best students who will lead innovative public health research, and who will find new solutions to the health problems impacting our health, the world in which we live and the lives of millions. We are humbled, grateful and inspired by this gift.”
The Hudson Fellows in Public Health program awards fellowships to gifted graduate students who are training at the highest levels of their disciplines at the OU College of Public Health. The work of these scholars will lead to the development of better public health practices and outcomes for the state, the nation and the world in which we live.
“Public health is essential for longer, healthier lives in Oklahoma and across the globe. The Hudsons are inspiring public health leaders, supporting our students and researchers through their generous investments, and setting a national standard. We are honored that they have advanced the College of Public Health to a prominent role and elevated the OU Health Sciences Center in the process,” said Dr. Jason Sanders, senior vice president and provost of the OU Health Sciences Center and vice chair of OU Medicine.
The annual Hudson Fellows Symposium brings important educators and thought leaders on public health issues to the university to interact with students, faculty and community leaders. This year’s speaker was Dr. Howard K. Koh, the Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Harvard Kennedy School. Koh, a former assistant secretary of health during the Obama administration, discussed health care, public health and the business community.
Founded in 1967, the OU College of Public Health is the only accredited college of public health in the state of Oklahoma. To view the announcement, visit http://bit.ly/OUPUblicHealth.