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Gene Budig, 1981-1994

Call Number: 2/17

Biography of Gene A. Budig (1939-2020)

Gene Budig served as KU's 14th Chancellor from 1981 to 1994. Born May 25, 1939 in Lincoln, Nebraska, he lived briefly in an orphanage until being adopted by Arthur and Angela Budig. Earning his degrees in journalism, English, and education through the University of Nebraska, Budig began his career as a newspaper reporter. He also served in the Nebraska Air National Guard.

After earning his doctorate, Budig became assistant professor of educational administration at the University of Nebraska in 1967. In a few short years he became a full professor and served as Assistant Vice Chancellor, Assistant Vice President, and Director of Public Affairs before moving in 1972 to Illinois State University. In 1977 he became West Virginia University's president and left in 1981 to take on the chancellorship at KU.

During Budig's tenure, the university experienced impressive growth of the physical campus in Lawrence and elsewhere with numerous projects, including construction of the Dole Human Development Center, the Adams Alumni Center, the Anschutz Science Library, the Lied Center for Performing Arts, and the Regents Center in Overland Park (now known as the Edwards Campus).

The university also achieved impressive growth in enrollment and endowed professorships. In 1992, KU set a record with an enrollment of 29,161 students, and endowed professorships more than tripled, from just 44 at his arrival to more than 130 at his retirement.

In 1991, Hoch Auditorium was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Through Chancellor Budig’s efforts, KU received an $18 million state appropriation to rebuild the structure. In recognition, the new building was named Budig Hall when it was officially dedicated in 1997.

In 1994, Gene Budig left KU to take over as president of the American League for Major-League Baseball, from which position he resigned in early 2000 after a major league baseball restructuring process. Budig died September 8, 2020.


161.5 Linear Feet (165 boxes)

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States