Xavier University awards Ascension Parish's own

Brandie Richardson @B_Lifestyles
Leslie D. Rose

     NEW ORLEANS – In an evening red carpet-style affair, two Ascension Parish professionals accepted high honors from their alma mater – Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA).

    Allison Hudson – Public Information Officer, APSO and Leslie D. Rose – poet and editor of The Donaldsonville Chief and Weekly Citizen – were among 40 University alumni awarded at the 40 under 40 Young Alumni Awards held at XULA on Nov. 20.

   The ceremony is the second of its kind held at XULA, with Rose and Hudson being among only seven mass communication professionals recognized at the program, which honors exceptional alumni across professions.

    Hudson, a 2008 graduate and former editor of The Donaldsonville Chief accepted her award based on accomplishments ranging from volunteer work in the community-at-large and her various work experiences, including her service as president of the Donaldsonville Area Chamber of Commerce (2011-2013), service on the Arc of East Ascension Community Opportunities (COEA) board of directors where she holds the position as vice-president and her 2011 presidency of the Donaldsonville Rotary Club.     

     “I am forever grateful for my experience while at Xavier and those who I have met along the way,” Hudson said. “Xavier is a small, close-knit family, but it’s also a powerhouse of really great professionals.”

     Hudson attributes much of her success while serving as editor of The Donaldsonville Chief.

     “The experiences I learned and the networking opportunities I was afforded as a young professional straight out of college were amazing – I will forever be thankful to the community of Donaldsonville because it opened so many doors for me,” she said.

     “I am also thankful to work for such a great and notable leader, Sheriff Wiley, because I truly admire him for his leadership skills and his knowledge.”

     Rose – a 2005 graduate of XULA – accepted her award for accomplishments ranging from her community work as the volunteer director of external communications for arts-based non-profit Forward Arts, Inc. to her climb from freelance journalist to professional success as a newspaper editor and highly-sought after writer, as well as her work as a performance poet and author.

     “My whole heart belongs to Xavier University,” Rose said. “Those experiences of late nights working as an editor for The Xavier Herald, to editing footage for the campus television station, to flying out to Los Angeles to cover the Hollywood screening of the movie “Old School” are all things I got solely from Xavier.

     The ability and encouragement to exist as a working professional while still a student is a remarkable thing. I am grateful for the acknowledgment given me and the other 39 recipients, as well. I am proud to be a product of such a fine program and school.”

     Among other instructors, both Hudson and Rose credit University professor Arnold Crump, among other instructors at the University, for his extended mentorship that has followed them both through their respective careers.

     Other awardees include scientists, doctors, lawyers and accomplished professionals from various industries. The ceremony, which began in 2014, is held annually among the University’s Homecoming weekend festivities.