The Rudolph Hugh Endowed Chair was named to recognize Rudolph Hugh, who received his bachelor's in bacteriology from Michigan State University in 1948 and his doctorate in bacteriology from Loyola University in Chicago in 1954. During the early 1950s, Hugh worked for the precursor of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and did research at Iowa State University before he joined George Washington University in Washington, D.C. in 1954. During his 35 years at GWU, he lectured graduate, undergraduate, medical, and pharmacy students. Hugh was an expert on bacterial identification. He retired from GWU in 1989 as professor emeritus of microbiology. Hugh died in 2011.