KU Endowment Association has named a teaching professorship for KU's outgoing chancellor.
Gene Budig thought it fitting today's announcement of an endowed teaching professorship named in his honor came on his last working day as Kansas University chancellor.
"No farewell gift could have been more meaningful than this one," said Budig, who trades in his academic regalia for baseball garb on Monday.
That's when he begins a five-year term as president of baseball's American League.
When assessing his years as chancellor, Budig speaks highly of KU's commitment to teaching and the value placed on distinguished professorships.
"It is a marvelous way to recognize quality teaching," he said. "My hope is that the number of these will be increased significantly in the years ahead."
Since 1981, KU Endowment Association raised the number of professorships recognizing excellence in teaching and research from 49 to 145. The number of teaching professorships quadrupled to 24 during the Budig era.
Budig taught at least one college course every semester for the past 28 years.
And, in 1989, the Budig family donated $25,000 to KU for a teaching professorship in social welfare and career teaching awards in education.
John Stewart, chairman of the endowment association's Board of Trustees, said KUEA allocated $250,000 in unrestricted donations to the Gene A. Budig Teaching Professorship in Education. The $250,000 will fund an annual stipend for the professorship.
He called it "a most appropriate tribute to his 13 years of distinguished service" to KU.
The fund will annually provide a one-time stipend to School of Education faculty who distinguish themselves in teaching.
Karen Symms Gallagher, dean of education, said the Budig professorship acknowledged the importance society places on quality education.
"This fund reflects Chancellor Budig's belief, and ours, that education faculty members are teaching leaders -- a vital resource not only to their students but to their colleagues across the campus," she said.
"It is quite literally a gift to the future."
Budig, 55, received three degrees from University of Nebraska. He began his career in higher education in 1967, subsequently serving as president of Illinois State University and West Virginia University.
In 1981, he was hired as KU's 14th chancellor. Over the past 22 years, he was responsible for educational programs for 520,000 students and administration of $8 billion in educational funds.