Totino-Grace President's Resignation Sparks Petition

Updated: 07/04/2013 7:17 AM By: Leslie Dyste

Sara Graham graduated from Totino-Grace High School in Fridley in 2000. After Dr. William Hudson revealed he's in a same-sex relationship and resigned as school president, Graham started an online petition, now signed by more than 200 people.

"What if I was a gay student at Totino-Grace right now?" she asked. "If they just told me that my president being gay is not acceptable, then what about me as a student? I think I would feel even more alone."

Graham is gay and in a committed, long-term relationship. Back in high school, though, that wasn't the case.

"Looking back knowing what I know now, oh yeah I totally was," she laughed, "and I should have known, but you know, I was in an environment where that wasn't, it almost didn't occur to me."

Hudson sent a statement to 5 Eyewitness News, saying in part: "For over 20 years I have placed service of the Catholic Church ahead of my family. I am excited to now be able [to] focus on my 2 children and my partner of 18 years."

Totino-Grace leadership said in a statement: "Anyone who has been through Totino-Grace is a member of a strong community. We have and will continue to care deeply for every member of our community."

Exactly who's included in that community though -- is what at least one alumna would still like to know.

"There are many of us who still feel that there is a community," said Graham, "but we just feel disconnected from it now that we're not welcome."

Graham plans to marry her partner later this year once gay marriage becomes legal in Minnesota. As for filling Hudson's position, Totino-Grace has already named an interim president who will serve through the 2013-2014 school year.