Fielding Graduate University News

Fielding Founder Frederic Hudson Passes Away

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Mon, Mar 02, 2015

Fielding Founder Frederic Hudson Leaves a Lasting and Meaningful Impression in Higher Education

President Katrina Rogers, PhD, reflected on the passing of Frederic Hudson:

Hudson 1On February 9th, I received a call from Pam McLean that her spouse of many years, Dr. Frederic Hudson, had passed away with his family by his side. As so many of you know, Frederic was one of the Fielding’s founders and has always been characterized as a true visionary. Many of our faculty were hired directly by Frederic. As it happens, we have been writing a history of Fielding with the assistance of Keith Melville, HOD faculty member, who was hired by Frederic. Keith interviewed Pam in December with her son, and learned much more about Frederic’s life and work. We look forward to honoring his work through Fielding's history. Below is his full obituary as published in the Santa Barbara Independent.

(Santa Barbara Independent 2/25/15): Monday, February 9th, 2015, Frederic Hudson died at the age of 80 at home and surrounded by family in Santa Barbara after a long journey with Alzheimer’s disease. He leaves behind his wife, Pamela McLean and their three children, Christopher, Michael and Charles; and three children Jeffrey, John and Lisa along with their spouses and five grandchildren from his first marriage.

Dr. Hudson was a key visionary and Founding President of The Fielding Institute (now FieldingHudson 2 Graduate University), 1974-1986, one of the first blended learning institutions accredited in the U.S. In 1986 he transitioned from Fielding to establish The Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara (now The Hudson Institute of Coaching) – a learning organization focused on the intersection of development and change in the lives of leaders today.

A Rockefeller and Danforth Fellow, he earned his Master of Divinity in social ethics from Colgate Rochester Divinity School in 1959, and in 1968, his PhD in interdisciplinary studies (psychology, philosophy, and religion) from Columbia University. His research and dissertation studied a group of social activists working in NYC between 1890 and 1920. He was Associate Dean of Stephens College, Columbia, Missouri, 1961-64; Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Colby College, Waterville, Maine, 1964-69; Academic Dean and Professor of Philosophy at Lone Mountain College (now University of San Francisco), 1968-74. Dr. Hudson wrote The Adult Years (1992, revised 1999) Jossey-Bass Publishers. In 1996 he co-authored The Joy of Old, and with his partner, Pamela McLean, PhD, wrote LifeLaunch – A passionate guide to the rest of your life. In 2001 he wrote The Handbook of Coaching, an early and seminal book on what was then the emerging field of leadership coaching.

Frederic had many talents and passions including a lifelong love of his piano, writing, dancing, the game of tennis, the creativity of photography, the fun of birding and the mysteries of nature.

For those wishing to make contributions to commemorate his life and work, contributions can be made in honor of the life of Frederic Hudson to Fielding Graduate University’s Frederic Hudson Scholarship Fund, dedicated to promising doctoral students who would not otherwise have the means to pursue their learning goals. Fielding Graduate University, 2020 De La Vina Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93105. Notes and condolences may be sent to the family at: Hudson Institute, 41C Hitchcock Way, Santa Barbara, CA 93105

- See more at: (accessed 2/25/15)


For more information about the Fredric Hudson Scholarship Fund, email, or visit:

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