Bachelors Degrees > Ellis College of Arts and Science > Biology Department
Barbara Johnston Hubbard
The fond memories Barbara Johnston Hubbard made for herself at Henderson State University prepared her for a career in helping other college students do the same.
Hubbard arrived at Henderson in 1945 after graduating high school in Benton, Arkansas. She earned her B.A. in biology from Henderson in 1948. While she was on campus, Hubbard enjoyed cheerleading and was a member of Alpha Sigma Tau sorority, the Student Christian Association, Heart and Key Club, and Women’s Council. She was also selected Homecoming Queen. She continued her education, earning an M.A. in biology from George Peabody College and an M.A. in Education from New Mexico State University (NMSU).
In 1955, Hubbard began her teaching career at Las Cruces High School in New Mexico. She taught biology and physical education in the district; then worked for more than 30 years at NMSU. At the university, she held positions that ranged from instructor to Director of Campus Activities. She retired in 1996 as NMSU’s Director of Special Events, but remained on as executive director of her favorite project, the American Collegiate Talent Showcase (ACTS). The showcase was Hubbard’s idea to promote NMSU’s Pan American Center. ACTS gave college students hands-on experience in all levels of entertainment marketing and technical production in addition to promoting the talents of college performers. Her work with the project earned her recognition by the Performance Touring Hall of Fame in 1996 and the title of College Promoter of the Year among many other awards. Performer Bob Hope, who played an active role in the first talent search, gave her the title “Mother Hubbard” because of the nurturing support she offered NMSU students. In 2007 the university recognized her with an honorary Doctorate of Letters degree.
Hubbard remains active in the ACTS scholarship program at NMSU. She has also established The Vince Gill Endowment at Henderson to attract and reward high-quality music majors in performance and academics to her alma mater.