Jim Branscome ’68 and Lavoyed Hudgins received the Distinguished Alumnus Award and the Honorary Alumnus Award, respectively.
Distinguished Alumnus Award – Jim Branscome ’68
Branscome, a native of Carroll County, Virginia, majored in history and political science before embarking on a successful 37-year career. In his early career, he served as the regional coordinator for Stanford University Center for Research and Development in Teaching, co-chaired the Poverty Task Force for the White House Conference on Youth, was a correspondent for McGraw-Hill and the Washington Post, and later became editor-in-chief of the McGraw-Hill News where he supervised 60 editors and reporters in seven cities worldwide and oversaw editorial operations of Standard & Poor’s news service. His 1971 New York Times magazine cover story on coal strip mining in Appalachia helped lead to federal regulations in 1972.
Branscome went on to serve S&P for 17 years in various roles, spearheading the creation of S&P’s Investment Advisory Services, and was responsible for setting global direction and management for the analytical, editorial and index businesses. He helped create and licensed the first exchange-traded mutual fund based on the S&P 500 that now has $262 billion in assets under management. He retired in 2007 as the managing director for investment analysis and was a member of S&P’s Index Service’s executive board. During his retirement, Branscome has served the Colorado Mesa University Foundation in various roles and Colorado’s governor appointed him to a Commission on Higher Education panel. He now resides in Scottsdale, Arizona with Sharen, his wife of nearly 48 years
Honorary Alumnus Award – Lavoyed Hudgins
Lavoyed Hudgins, director of Public Safety at Berea College, is being recognized for his commitment to serving Berea students; promoting the Great Commitments of Berea College; and demonstrating a passion for social justice, a generous spirit and humility.
Hudgins began working for Berea College in 2010 after a long career in law enforcement, during which he served in the police, public safety and emergency management departments of Montgomery, Alabama; Clarksville, Tennessee; Atlanta, Georgia; and Lexington, Kentucky. During Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher’s administration, Hudgins was appointed assistant to the Governor and deputy commissioner of Public Protection, where he coordinated the governor’s schedule, directed the Office of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board and oversaw $137 million budget and 800 employees in state departments ranging from housing to Kentucky horse racing.
At Berea College, Hudgins is a member of the President’s Council, coordinates public safety and risk management operations and was appointed interim chief information officer by President Lyle Roelofs. Hudgins says his primary job is sending students out into the world equipped with Berea’s values and ideals.