Association bids fond farewell to Andrews, Hudson

For over two decades, two alumnae were stellar constants in the Mississippi State University Alumni Association. Libba Andrews and Karen Hudson retired from their respective roles as associate director and programs assistant at the close of June. During their tenure, the pair witnessed incredible growth of the university and the association.

“It is hard to separate the success of the association from the university and Libba Andrews and Karen Hudson set an example of heartfelt dedication and unwavering loyalty for all incoming staff to follow,” said Jeff Davis, executive director of the Alumni Association.

“We congratulate them and express our appreciation for their superb and tireless work on behalf of our association and MSU.”

In her 28-year MSU career, Libba Andrews made a significant impact on the Alumni Association and its programs as she enthusiastically worked with alumni, students, friends of MSU and alumni professionals across the country.

“What gives me great joy and a deep sense of personal satisfaction is that the mission of the Alumni Association is as relevant today as it was at its founding 133 years ago,” Andrews said. “Although the way the association conducts daily business has changed, at the end of the day it is the spirit of MSU that will always ring true.”

Andrews received a bachelor’s degree in communication from Mississippi State. Graduating in 1983, the Columbus native embarked on a career in local radio, serving as general manager of a Starkville station before joining the MSU Alumni Association as marketing coordinator in 1990. She was promoted to business administrator in 1992 and to associate director in 1994.

As longtime associate director, Andrews maintained responsibility for revenue and affinity programs that produced millions of dollars in support of MSU, steered alumni travel programs, class reunions, homecoming activities, faculty and staff recognition, and impacted hundreds of students as a leader and mentor of the Alumni Delegates. Her endeavors brought added value to the lives of thousands of alumni and students.

Andrews amassed a wealth of knowledge and history, both of MSU and alumni relations as she loyally served alongside four executive directors—Steve Grafton, John Correro, Jimmy Abraham and presently Jeff Davis. This experience helped her represent MSU with the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the nation’s leading organization for education professionals working in the areas of alumni relations, communications and development. Her association with CASE included appointments as both chair and treasurer for District III.

One of the highlights of Andrews’ career was serving as adviser for the Alumni Delegates student organization. Over time, these delegates have yielded a legacy as they became educators, entrepreneurs, surgeons, occupational therapists, physical therapists, missionaries, pastors, attorneys, public servants and business leaders.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to have been a part of these students’ lives. It is rewarding to have watched them grow and become clear in their convictions as they challenged each other and held each other accountable as true maroon students preparing to be alumni leaders. The years I spent as adviser will forever hold a special place in my heart,” she said.

Fellow alumna Karen Hudson assisted Andrews with many responsibilities for alumni programs. Hudson received a bachelor’s degree in marketing from MSU in 1980. She joined the association staff in 1988 initially to provide administrative support for chapter programs before becoming alumni programs assistant. Hudson helped create program pieces as she assisted with the planning and coordination of special events and other association endeavors. Before joining MSU, Hudson worked with the United Way and the Girl Scouts Council in Schenectady, New York.

In their alumni roles, Hudson and Andrews enjoyed a long relationship with many areas across the university. In particular, they worked with academic colleges in formally honoring hundreds of outstanding graduates through the College Alumni of the Year program and the Alumni Fellows program.

Following retirement, Andrews maintains her maroon and white ties in Starkville with her husband, Andy, a fellow Bulldog graduate. Hudson and her husband, John, follow the Bulldogs from their home in Columbus.