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From left to right: Otto M. Budig Jr. with Musical Theatre majors Blaine Krauss, Hannah Zazzaro and Julian Decker.

From left to right: Otto M. Budig Jr. with Musical Theatre majors Blaine Krauss, Hannah Zazzaro and Julian Decker.

CCM Salutes Longtime Supporter Otto M. Budig Jr.

The CCM community congratulates entrepreneur, philanthropist and distinguished University of Cincinnati alumnus Otto M. Budig Jr. (BBA, 1956; HonDoc, 2009) on his recent induction into the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s 2014 class of Great Living Cincinnatians.

The Chamber has presented this prestigious award on an annual basis since 1967. Recipients are chosen by the Chamber's senior council based on the following criteria: community service, business and civic attainment on a local, state, national or international level; leadership; awareness of the needs of others; and distinctive accomplishments that have brought favorable attention to their community, institution or organization.

This recognition ceremony came shortly after the Friends of CCM honored Budig at CCM’s annual star-studded fundraising event, A Moveable Feast, which included a very special performance of “On the Wings of a Dream” featuring all 75 current Musical Theatre majors, in honor of Budig’s significant support of the program. Composed by CCM alumnus Stephen Flaherty (BM, 1982), “On the Wings of a Dream” was originally written to celebrate the opening of the renovated CCM Village in 1999.

Regarded as one of the most loyal University of Cincinnati alumni as well as a tremendous supporter of Cincinnati’s cultural landscape, Budig is founder, president and trustee of the Otto M. Budig Family Foundation.

Named for his father, the foundation contributes to an array of philanthropies in Greater Cincinnati and continues to support CCM as the college’s annual Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor.

As CCM’s Musical Theatre Program Sponsor, Budig’s generosity contributes to the ongoing success of the Musical Theatre program’s Senior Showcase. Patricia and J. Ralph Corbett and their Corbett Foundation initiated this innovative “capstone” experience, giving CCM seniors the chance to showcase their talents for agents and casting directors in New York City.

With the support of the Corbett Foundation and the Otto M. Budig Family Foundation, CCM’s Musical Theatre Senior Showcase continues to serve as a launching pad for the college’s Broadway-bound graduates.

UC Board of Trustees Chairperson Tom Humes (left) with Otto M. Budig Jr. at CCM's 2014 Moveable Feast.

UC Board of Trustees Chairperson Tom Humes (left) with Otto M. Budig Jr. at CCM's 2014 Moveable Feast.

"I first met Otto when I interviewed as Dean of CCM,” remarks Peter Landgren. “He served on the search committee, and it was at that time that I began to understand that Otto's power of philanthropy went well beyond sheer sharing of wealth. Otto cares about the University of Cincinnati and he is passionate about the College-Conservatory of Music. He shares that openly with his time and commitment, with his advice and counsel, with his encouragement of others to step up and give, and yes, his gifts have helped transform the lives of many students and of CCM."

University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees Chairperson Thomas H. Humes says, “Otto is the essence of what makes Cincinnati such a great city; quiet leadership, philanthropy and a love for our City’s great institutions. At the heart of Otto’s spirit and character is his abiding love for the University of Cincinnati and his belief in its’ life changing impact. Nowhere is this more true than his dedicated support to CCM and particularly the Department of Musical Theatre.”

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Otto M. Budig, Jr. (far right) in a UC Mummers Guild production.

Budig’s passion for the arts was on display even during his time as a student at UC. While studying accounting at UC’s Carl H. Lindner College of Business, he began performing with UC’s Mummers Guild, appearing in many of the theatre group’s productions at the time.

“He was a really great actor,” UC classmate Jim Wachs recalled to the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Johnston in 2000. “I thought he could almost have been a professional.”

After graduating from UC in 1956, Budig served as a U.S. Air Force pilot with the Tactical and Strategic Air Commands before starting his career with Budco Group in 1963. President and owner of Budco Group since 1982, an organization with multiple interests in the transportation industry, Budig’s company has operations in more than 30 locations throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.

In 2001, Budig was awarded the Carl H. Lindner Medal by the College of Business for Outstanding Business Achievement. He received both the UC Foundation Chairman’s Award and the Alumni Masters Series Award in 2004, and received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from UC in 2009.

Otto M. Budig Jr. is a trustee for the University of Cincinnati Foundation and is a lifetime member of the UC Alumni Association.

You can view his Great Living Cincinnatian profile on the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber website by clicking here.

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