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Former KU Chancellor Gene Budig Dies at 81

Budig Hall on the KU campus. (Photo by J. Schafer)

Former University of Kansas Chancellor Gene Budig (BEW-dig) has died at the age of 81.  He led KU for 13 years, beginning in 1981.  KPR’s Stephen Koranda has more.


Current KU Chancellor Doug Girod credits Budig for expansion at KU.  

"An experienced university administrator as well as a major general in the Air National Guard, Chancellor Budig presided over an impressive amount of physical growth on campus," Girod said in an email.

Budig oversaw additions to the Lawrence campus and the opening of the Edwards campus in Johnson County. The school hit its all-time enrollment record under his tenure, with more than 29,000 students in 1992.  

When lightning started a fire that destroyed Hoch Auditorium in 1991, Budig worked to secure $18 million in state funding to rebuild it. That building is now named Budig Hall.

Budig loved baseball, and after leaving KU he became president of Major League Baseball’s American League from 1994 to 1999.


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