Jim Hudson, co-founder of Huntsville’s HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, will be inducted into the Alabama Academy of Honor Monday in a group of eight that includes Apple CEO Tim Cook, University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban and U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions.

The Academy of Honor was created by the Legislature in 1965 to honor and recognize distinguished Alabama citizens. Its membership is limited to 100 living individuals.

Hudson has been credited with creating Alabama’s biotech industry. He mentored a generation of young scientists and engineers through his Huntsville company Research Genetics. The HudsonAlpha institute he co-founded is a leader in worldwide genetics research, an incubator for biotech businesses and a genetics teaching center that serves Alabama students and their teachers.

Hudson also purchased a former shoe factory called Lowe Mill in Huntsville in 2001 and turned it into an arts facility that will soon house 200 working artists and craftspeople. Among his other accomplishments, he was also a decorated Army pilot in the Vietnam War.

Cook joined Apple in 1998 after a 12-year career at IBM, became chief operating officer in 2005 and succeeded founder Steve Jobs as CEO in 2011. He is a world authority on business and technology. Saban, a five-time National Coach of the Year with four national championships, is cited as well for his philanthropy through his Nick’s Kids Fund. Sessions is cited for legislation “ranging from wilderness protection to equitable funding for programs that aid low income Alabamians.”

Also in this year’s class are Judy Bonner, president of the University of Alabama; John Croyle, founder of Big Oak Boys’ Ranch and Big Oak Girls’ Ranch, former Mountain Brook mayor and civic leader Margaret Porter; and businessman Edgar Welden.

The induction ceremonies will be Monday at 11 a.m. in the old House Chambers of the State Capitol. The event is open to the public.

News Outlet: Huntsville Times/al.com
Date Published: Oct. 24, 2014