Reflections: How a WWII veteran impacted the future president of PSU 

  Wednesday, January 13, 2021 1:30 PM
  News, People and Society

Pittsburg, KS

Hudiburg Scott

Sometimes decades-long relationships begin in a classroom on the campus of Pittsburg State University. 

Such was the case with a World War II veteran and the future president of PSU. 

In 1945, Pittsburg native George Everett Hudiburg returned home from serving in World War II with a Purple Heart and the French Legion of Honor and decided to begin serving his country in a different way: he became a teacher. 

Hudiburg signed on at Parsons Middle School and High School, then earned his doctoral degree in Educational Leadership which qualified him for a position in the College of Education at PSU, where he prepared future teachers for their time in the classroom. 

One of those future teachers was President Steve Scott. 

In the fall of 1973, Hudiburg regularly visited Scott’s classroom in Riverton, Kansas, where Scott was a student teacher in high school mathematics — and not much older than the students he was teaching. Hudiburg’s advice was invaluable.  

When Scott was elected president of an education honor societyHudiburg accompanied him on his first airplane ride to his first national professional convention. It left quite an impression. 

Scott would go on to become a colleague of Hudiburg’s — and later the dean of the College of Education and the ninth president of PSU — cementing a decades-long friendship that began in a classroom in Hughes Hall 

Hudiburg taught for 25 years at PSU, advising hundreds of future teachersmany who went on to careers in leadership. He retired in 1989 but kept in touch and became a donor who funded special projects in the College of Education.  

His death at age 97 on Jan. 2 prompted Scott to reflect owhat it means to be part of a university and the impact that faculty have on students — an impact that can be lifelong 

Dr. Hudiburg was there when I began teaching, guiding me and encouraging me. Those experiences served me well as I spent 15 years as a teacher, and they also have impacted my work as a university administrator and leader,” Scott said. “Reflecting on that reminds me of what an important role our faculty and staff have as they create transformational experiences for our students. 

I’m grateful to have had someone like Dr. Hudiburg impact my journey through Pitt State, and that inspires me to ensure those opportunities exist for our current students,” Scott said. “It’s a good reminder that the relationships being created today will last a lifetime.