JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Jackson State University has a new leader.
Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning named Thomas K. Hudson as the 12th president of the university.
Hudson has served as the schools acting president the last nine months and he’s also worked in a variety of roles at Jackson State since 2012, including Chief Operating Officer and Chief Diversity Officer.
“I am extremely appreciative and beyond humbled for the opportunity to continue to build upon Jackson State University’s extraordinary legacy,” said Hudson. “I recognize that it is an honor to serve in a leadership role, but it is an extreme honor and privilege to serve my Alma mater - Jackson State University and the community I grew up in.”
Hudson has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Jackson State University and a law degree from the University of Mississippi. Before joining the staff at Jackson State, Hudson founded his own law practice and served as an EEO specialist for the Department of Homeland Security/FEMA in Clinton.
As Acting President, Jackson state says he’s provided leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and the university’s Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges reaffirmation process. He has also helped to improve the university’s financial position, the school says.
Hudson says his focus hasn’t changed since he joined the JSU family in 2012; to ensure the success of students, faculty and staff and the long-term viability of JSU. During Thursday’s press conference, the new president said he’s humble and there to make difference.
“I’m a lifelong Jackson resident and for me it’s personal; it’s about family, history and legacy. It’s something I’m already a part of,” Hudson added.
Jackson has the support of trustee members who are excited to see him grow in his new role.
“As a Jackson State University alumnus, I am extremely pleased that we have identified one of our own to serve as president,” said Dr. Steven Cunningham, a member of the Board of Trustees. “We have witnessed the great strides he has made over the past nine months and have full confidence that he will continue to demonstrate the great love he has for this university by providing outstanding leadership for the students, faculty, staff and alumni.”
The new president said “JSU has been great for 143 years and will continue to be.”
Thomas Hudson and his wife, Phylandria, have two daughters.