headshot of Gene Budig
Former Illinois State President Gene Budig

Gene A. Budig, the 12th president of Illinois State University, died September 8.

“President Budig came to lead during turbulent times and worked to build bridges and keep Illinois State moving forward,” said President Larry Dietz. “Under his leadership, the University expanded degree offerings in the arts and business. His mark on the University will long be remembered. I was fortunate to meet him a few years back and will always appreciate his contributions to the University and value his friendship.”

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Budig was named acting president in 1973 and appointed to the presidency later that year. During his time as president of Illinois State, he won board approval for a number of new academic degree programs including a master’s program in business administration, master’s programs in art and theatre, and four doctorate programs in the arts.

Budig arrived at ISU in 1972 as a vice president, dean, and professor of educational administration. He arrived from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he served as a vice chairman and director of public affairs.