Former Kansas University Chancellor Gene Budig and his wife, Gretchen Budig, will receive the Dole Humanitarian Award next week from KU’s Department of Special Education.
The Budigs will be honored during a private ceremony May 10 at the Dole Institute of Politics, KU announced Thursday.
The award is intended to honor people connected to Kansas who’ve helped improve the lives of people with disabilities and their families. Past recipients have been former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole; Ross and Marianna Beach, who endowed KU’s Beach Center on Disability; and former KU disability researcher Richard Schiefelbusch and his collaborators.
Gene Budig was chancellor at KU from 1981 to 1994, when he left to become president of Major League Baseball’s American League. He was supportive of KU’s special education department and other disability-related campus programs while chancellor, said Edward Meyen, a professor of special education, in a news release. The Budigs also endowed the Budig Teaching Professorship in Special Education.
KU’s special education graduate program is perennially ranked as one of the best in the country, coming in at No. 2 overall and No. 1 among public universities in this year’s U.S. News and World Report rankings.