NSU Hall of Fame sprinter Billy Hudson gives back 70 years later


Billy Hudson made a name for himself running very fast laps for the Northwestern State track and field team shortly after serving in World War II.

He also shaped his future. At age 94, he wanted to brighten the future of fellow Demons, and so this fall, he decided to endow a scholarship through NSU’s Perpetually Purple program.

The Marguerite and Billy Hudson Scholarship honors his late wife, who passed last year after a 67-year marriage. They were both career educators who met at Northwestern in 1947.

Hudson’s college career was interrupted by the war. After basic training in San Antonio, he wound up in Oklahoma, then shipped overseas to Burma. His group furnished fuel to Gen. Claire Chenault’s fabled Flying Tigers. When the war ended in 1945, Hudson headed home, uncertain about his future.

“When I was younger, my high school coach had recommended I go to Northwestern, where I’d be a big fish in a small pond. When I came back from the war, I remembered,” said Hudson.

Hudson was a great fit at Northwestern, running for a coach who became legendary, Walter Ledet. Hudson never lost a quarter-mile race in high school, college or the military. As a Demon, he set school and conference records that held up for 23 years.

Hudson was himself a successful coach at Ouachita Parish and Haynesville before spending the last 14 years of his education career in administration, working with another Northwestern legend, John McConathy, with the Bossier Parish School Board. He retired in 1984 and was enshrined in the N-Club Hall of Fame in 2004.

Hudson’s $20,000 gift is the latest to NSU Athletics as part of the Perpetually Purple endowed giving program managed by the Demons Unlimited Foundation.

The goal is to grow the endowment over the next five years from the current $1.7 million level to over $5 million. The program is separate from the efforts to supplement the annual budget for the athletics program with donations, corporate partnerships and special fund-raising events.

A minimum of $10,000 is required to create an endowment fund. Information is available on the NSUDemons.com website.