Bill Hudgins and Wilda Dodson
Bill Hudgins ’68 and Wilda Dodson

When Bill Hudgins ’68 and Wilda Dodson were preparing their estate plans, both wanted to recognize Woodberry’s impact on Bill’s life. 

Bill came to Woodberry from the small, southside Virginia town of Victoria, entering as a fifth former.

“I was really in need of a place where I could grow intellectually,” Bill says. “I had a lot of catching up to do and was literally learning to write in those years.”

So as Bill and Wilda were planning, each decided to make a bequest and to join the Walker Society. Wilda’s gift will establish a tuition assistance fund named after Bill, while Bill’s gift will fund a scholarship named after his parents. 

“A lot of our property and assets are in our individual names, so making individual bequests lets the school receive a gift when one of us dies rather than after we both pass away,” Wilda says.  

The writing skills that Bill acquired as a Tiger certainly served him well. He went on to earn a degree at Columbia University before embarking on a career in journalism that continues to this day. After working at the Nashville Banner he edited several magazines, including one called Road King that was aimed at long-haul truckers and another, American Spirit, that is the magazine of the Daughters’ of the American Revolution. Bill remains a contributor to American Spirit and recently wrote a piece on The Residence for the magazine. 

Throughout his life, Bill has leaned on values learned at Woodberry.

“I really embraced the honor system,” he says. “It’s shaped my character and given me a basis to know if I was doing what was right and being fair to people.”

Wilda, a graduate of Rhodes College and the University of Tennessee’s College of Law, practiced law for several years before a lengthy career as a financial advisor with Edward Jones.

“I come from a family that believes in education,” Wilda says. “We’re so impressed with the campus and the people at Woodberry, and we also love the sense of continuity and want to help that continue.”