February 11, 2000

Hudson remembered for dedication to Vanderbilt

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Thomas Hudson

Vanderbilt lost a longtime friend and supporter recently with the death of retired investment banker Thomas M. Hudson, a member of both the Vanderbilt University Board of Trust and the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Board.

Mr. Hudson, who died in an automobile accident Feb. 1, enrolled at Vanderbilt in 1939 and graduated in 1942. During his undergraduate years, he ran track and was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity. After graduating, he served as an officer in the U.S. Navy and saw action in the South Pacific during World War II. Later, he worked for Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner and Smith in New York City before returning to Nashville.

"Tom Hudson was a great citizen of Nashville," said Vanderbilt Chancellor Joe B. Wyatt. "He was a dedicated friend and trustee of Vanderbilt, and he will be missed. Our hearts go out to his family."

Mr. Hudson co-founded the Nashville branch of the Robinson-Humphrey investment firm in 1970. He retired as first vice president and a director of Robinson-Humphrey in 1983 but still maintained an office and relationships there. He also co-founded and served as chairman of the board of Matteson-Hudson Construction Co.

Mr. Hudson also served on the board of directors for a number of companies over the years, including Murray Ohio Co., Dominion Bank, United Cities Gas Co., Media Central Corp. and Hudson Brothers Farm, Inc.

Prior to founding Robinson-Humphrey, Mr. Hudson joined Equitable Securities Investment Co. in 1952. During his 19 years with the firm, he rose to the rank of senior vice president and director. He left the firm when its parent company, American Express, sold it to a group of Nashville investors.

Mr. Hudson said in a 1982 interview with the Nashville Banner that a desire to return to the South and a Nashville girl named Ellen Warner had brought him back from New York City to Nashville in the 1940s. The two were later married.

The Hudsons have been generous contributors to Vanderbilt and were members of the National Commodore Club, the Canby Robinson Society, Schola Prophetarum, the Julia Hereford Society, the Peabody Roundtable and the Chancellor's Council. They also have supported many other civic, cultural and educational organizations.

Mr. Hudson received the Commodore Award from the Nashville Banner in 1983 for his interest and support of Vanderbilt athletics. He bought his first season tickets to football games in 1947 and to basketball contests in 1952, rarely missing a home game.

He was a former president (1978) and member of the Board of Directors of the Vanderbilt Alumni Association. He chaired the Vanderbilt Reunion in 1967.

A native of Clifty, Tenn., who moved to nearby Clarksville at age 6 months, Mr. Hudson and his brothers, William D. Hudson Jr. and John H. Hudson, founded a Vanderbilt scholarship in 1987 to honor their parents and encourage outstanding students from Montgomery County to attend Vanderbilt.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the William D. and Violet H. Hudson Scholarship Fund, which provides for four years of undergraduate study at Vanderbilt.

Mr. Hudson, an elder at Westminster Presbyterian Church, is survived by his wife, Ellen Warner Hudson; brother William D. Hudson Jr.; son Thomas M. Hudson Jr.; daughter Kate Hudson Regan; and four grandchildren.