College Mourns Loss of Linguistics Professor Emeritus

The College of Arts & Letters is saddened by the passing of Dr. Grover M. Hudson, Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, who passed away on June 12, 2022, he was 82 years old. A member of the Department of Linguistics, Languages, and Cultures faculty at Michigan State University, Dr. Hudson taught for 30 years, retiring in 2008.

Dr. Hudson received his PhD degree in linguistics from UCLA in 1975. Before coming to MSU in 1979, he taught at Addis Ababa University (1969-72), Ain Shams University (Cairo, 1975-77), Southern Illinois University, San Diego State University, and the University of Texas. He resided in Ethiopia as a US Peace Corps Volunteer 1963-65 and later on several occasions of sponsored research (SSRC, US DOE, Fulbright).

Dr. Grover M. Hudson, 2004.

Over the course of his career, Dr. Hudson was known for his scholarship in a broad range of linguistics topics, especially phonology, historical linguistics, Amharic language and linguistics, and Ethiopia languages. His long list of publications includes six (co)-authored books, six edited book volumes and special journal issues, and numerous journal articles and book chapters. After retiring from MSU, Dr. Hudson continued to maintain a high level of research productivity in his scholarship. 

During his tenure at MSU, Dr. Hudson taught phonology, historical linguistics, introduction to linguistics, and several other topics in linguistics at all levels. Dr. Hudson’s wealth of knowledge and his generosity and compassion were adored by his students. He also mentored graduate students with great success, tirelessly challenging them and pushing them to think more logically and strategically about their theses and dissertations.

“The breadth and depth of his scholarly work was exceptional and the respect in which he was held by his colleagues in Cushitic linguistics was readily apparent,” said Dr. David Prestel, Professor Emeritus and former Senior Associate Dean for the College of Arts & Letters. “He remained a mainstay in the program and contributed to its high ranking among similar programs he taught nationally. I have a great deal of respect for Grover and always found him to be a wonderful colleague, excellent scholar, and good friend”

Dr. Hudson’s service contributions to the department and MSU included serving as department Associate Chair (1989-1992), Director of Graduate Studies for Linguistics (1997-99), Linguistics Undergraduate Advisor (1983-2000), and serving on University Committee on Faculty Tenure (2003-2005), and on the College Advisory Council multiple times, to name just a few. He was particularly instrumental in advocating for the faculty at MSU and in higher education more generally when he served as a member of Executive Committee of Michigan American Association of University Professors (AAUP) (2001-2004) and as President of the MSU Chapter of AAUP (2004-2006).

Dr. Hudson’s professional contributions to Linguistics and African Studies were extensive, ranging from his service as a co-director of the 2003 Linguistic Society of America Summer Institute held at MSU to journal editorial work for Northeast African Studies that lasted for decades (1980-2007).

Dr. Hudson will be greatly missed by all those that he encountered in his life journey and supported many people’s lives without ever advertising. He was truly a man of principles. His intellectual sharpness and rigor as a scholar, unwavering dedication to student success, and warmth and kindness as a colleague and friend will be remembered forever. Sincere condolences to Dr. Hudson’s wife, Dr. Mutsuko Endo Hudson, MSU Professor Emeritus of Japanese and Linguistics, and to his family.