Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2002-01-31

A veteran of the Samford University mathematics department received the school's George Macon Memorial Award for outstanding teaching Thursday (JAN. 31).

Mary H. Hudson, assistant professor of mathematics, received an enthusiastic ovation from students and faculty colleagues as she received the award at the opening convocation of the spring semester. She has taught statistics and other mathematics courses during five decades at the school.

The Macon Award is given annually to celebrate the enduring influence that a teacher can have on students.

"In teaching a discipline so much of which is abstract and impersonal, our recipient has always worked to defuse the fear many students have of mathematics, to make the subject matter connect with concrete experience, and to involve students in the joy of learning throughout their lives," said Samford acting provost Dr. Joe O. Lewis while presenting the award.

A Samford graduate, Hudson first joined the Samford faculty in 1960. She later served in a part-time capacity while raising four children, and has been a fulltime assistant professor since 1978.

She has been faculty chair of student affairs and has worked on curricular development and many university committees. In 1987, she received Samford's other top teaching recognition, the John H. Buchanan Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching. Hudson is the author of a textbook, Practical Statistics for Quality and Process Control.

For 25 years, Hudson was volunteer director of special education at Dawson Memorial Baptist Church, where she developed a program for autistic persons. A native of Eutaw, she holds a master's degree in mathematics from the University of Alabama.

Samford students began spring semester classes on Tuesday.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.