Budig Hall: The Gem of the Oread

By Michael P Garrett

There are a few things every KU student has had the pleasure of experiencing by the time they walk through the Campanile and down the hill each spring. Some of these things include watching electrifying basketball games in Allen Fieldhouse, numerous regrettable evenings at the Hawk, and yes, of course, having class in Budig 120.

We all have had a class in Budig 120, but does anyone actually know anything about Budig? Or why it garbs the name Hoch Auditoria on the front of the building even though it’s officially named Budig Hall?

No worries ladies and gents, I’ve got all the answers you could ever imagine for in regards to the building we all know and love, Budig Hall.

First and foremost, Budig Hall is not the original name of the building. In 1927, KU built University Auditorium. Eleven years later, it was renamed Hoch Auditorium, after Edward W. Hoch. Hoch was the Kansas governor from 1905 to 1909.

Before Allen Fieldhouse became the Mecca of college hoops in 1955, Hoch Auditorium housed our beloved Jayhawks.

Back in the days of Hoch, class was still held in the facility during the day and games games would be played later at night. Hoch held around 5,500 students and was used for not only college basketball games and class, but was also used for a myriad of performances. Talk about a triple threat.

On June 15, 1991 Hoch caught fire after being struck by lightning. In 1992, Kansas Legislature approved an $18 million dollar reconstruction of the building.

With a renovated facility, the Kansas Board of Regents thought the building should have a new name to commemorate the new digs.

In 1994, the Board of Regents decided to name the new and improved building after Gene A. Budig. Budig was the 14th chancellor of our beloved university. Fun fact, Budig was also the president of Major League Baseball’s American League from 1994 until 1999.

Now that we know a bit about Budig, let’s take a tour of the wonderful facility.

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There we are! The entrance to the cave of wonders itself. You can clearly see how they have kept the Hoch Auditoria name plate on the façade right below Budig Hall.

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For those of you coming from the Underground, this might be the entrance you’re more familiar with. Let’s take a step inside.

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This is the foyer where many students like to hang out before class. But wait, there are no students?

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There they are! Class just ended and students are racing home to enjoy the rest of their evening. Just ahead is the biggest lecture hall, which can sit around 800 students, Budig 120. Let’s take a look inside.

 

 

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Students are gathering up at the front of the lecture hall after class to turn in paperwork for their general education psychology class. To get a sense of how big Budig 120 really is, let’s get an arial view.

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Same lecture hall, just a bit higher up.

Many students don’t like Budig because they think it is hard to concentrate in such a big lecture hall, surrounded by distractions.

Nicole McCroskey, a sophomore from Overland Park, has a class in Budig and also works there helping trouble shoot technical problems throughout the facility. She said it is the student’s job to focus on the professor and work toward a good grade, even in such a big space.

“As a student, I believe it honestly depends on how willing you are to learn, what grade you want to get, and how much effort you are going to put in,” McCroskey said. “Anyone can succeed in a classroom, no matter the size.”

Finally, before our tour is over, let’s take a behind the scenes, exclusive look at the Budig Hall control room.

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Bet you didn’t know this guy is the one controlling all the audio and video in the lecture halls around Budig, did you?

Well, that officially marks the end of our tour through Budig Hall. Now you’re an expert on everything Budig. I hope it’s now your favorite building at our gorgeous university, I mean come on, it at least beats Wescoe, right?

 

 

Data about Budig Hall provided by The Campus Buildings Directory and the Budig Hall Fact Sheet.

 

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