Distinguished Alumni

2018 Distinguished Alumni
Linda Hudson

City of Fort Pierce Mayor Linda Hudson was recognized with the Indian River State College Distinguished Alumni Award.  The award is presented annually to an outstanding graduate who has achieved a high level of success in his or her chosen career and is an exemplary role model for students.  The honor was conferred during the College Awards Ceremony, where Hudson served as the event’s featured speaker.

“IRSC alumni are actively involved with both their communities and their professions, setting higher standards, improving relationships, and bringing about change for future generations,” said Dr. Edwin R. Massey, IRSC President. “No one embodies this spirit more so than Mayor Linda Hudson, and we are pleased to present her with this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award.”

A native of Fort Pierce, Mayor Hudson graduated from Indian River Junior College in 1964 with an Associate of Arts degree. She furthered her education at the University of Florida, graduating in 1966 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and History. Hudson then pursued a career in association management in Chicago, Illinois, and after marking a 25-year career, retired in 1994 as a vice president with the Illinois State Medical Society. 

Hudson then returned to her hometown of Fort Pierce where she became active in several civic and cultural organizations. In 2012 she was elected Mayor of the City of Fort Pierce—the first female elected to that office — and ran unopposed for reelection in 2016. She currently serves as President of the Treasure Coast Regional League of Cities and is past Chair of the Treasure Coast Council of Local Governments.

She earned the Florida League of Cities Home Rule Hero Award in 2015 and again in 2017 for her advocacy efforts with the state legislature. Mayor Hudson is active in community service and, among other commitments, serves as Vice Chair of the St. Lucie County Executive Roundtable, an organization that seeks to build a community where every child succeeds.

In her address to students, Mayor Hudson reflected on the journey that brought her back to Florida and the importance of service to others.

“Education never stops,” said Hudson. “If you’re open to it, you can learn something from every person you meet, every job you perform, and every experience. Lifetime learning comes from the conviction that you don’t know everything, and from an attitude that learning from every situation is your job.”

Distinguished Alumni Award

The Indian River State College Distinguished Alumni Award, which began is 1988, is presented annually to an outstanding graduate who has achieved a high level of success in his or her chosen career and is an exemplary role model for our students.
We invite you to submit a nomination for the annual Distinguished Alumni Award. The recipient of this prestigious award will be honored at the College Awards Ceremony.

IRSC Distinguished Alumni Award Honorees:

  • ​2017 - Leslie Candes, Class of 1998
  • ​2016 - Dr. Christine Jefferson Taylor, Class of 1972
  • 2015 - Louis "Buck" and Donna Hinz Vocelle, Indian River County
  • ​2014 - Mike Wise, Class of 1984
  • 2013 - Lisa Wells Kaul, Class of 1978
  • 2012 - Lt. Col. Curtis Carlin, Class of 1991
  • 2011 - Dr. Calvin Arnold, St. Lucie County
  • 2010 - Dr. Maxwell C. King and Dr. Herman A. Heise, Former IRSC Presidents, 50th Anniversary Honorary Distinguished Alumni
  • 2009 - Joseph and Diane Lembo, Indian River County
  • 2008 - Dr. Patricia Cooper, Okeechobee County
  • 2007 - Mark Long, St. Lucie County
  • 2006 - Sheriff Ken Mascara, St. Lucie County
  • 2005 - José L. Conrado, Indian River County
  • 2004 - William Hood, M.D., St. Lucie County
  • 2003 - Alton C. Hale, Jr., Martin County
  • 2002 - Karen Ripper, Martin County
  • 2001 - Ted Burrows, Martin County
  • 2000 - Dr. Ann Cali, St. Lucie County
  • 1999 - Lori Schirard Grubbs, Indian River County
  • 1998 - Joseph D. Weaver
  • 1997 - Diamond Litty, St. Lucie County
  • 1996 - Robert L. Crowder, Martin County
  • 1995 - David Marsh
  • 1993 - Louise Jones Gopher, Okeechobee County
  • 1992 - Hal Roberts, St. Lucie County
  • 1991 - John W. Abney, Okeechobee County
  • 1990 - Dr. Dominic Zaccheo, Martin County
  • 1989 - Bobby Knowles, St. Lucie County
  • 1988 - Margaret Ingram, Indian River County


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