Paul R. Judy was raised in Muncie, Indiana where he graduated from public school in 1949. He entered Harvard College, graduating cum laude in 1953, and was a U. S. Marine Corps officer 1953-1955. He then entered the Harvard Business School receiving in 1957 a M. B. A. with high distinction and was a Baker Scholar. Mr. Judy continued on for one-year as a Research Assistant to Prof. Charles Williams writing an extensive number of cases about banking and securities organizations.
In 1958, Mr. Judy joined the investment banking firm of A. G. Becker in Chicago. He worked in the firm’s New York office 1962-1965, after which he returned to Chicago to become the firm’s acting Chief Executive Officer. He became President and Chief Executive in 1967 serving in that capacity for 11 years during which period Becker experienced over ten fold growth and achieved wide recognition for the professionalism, innovation and effectiveness of its organization. In 1974, the firm established an investment and operating affiliation with two major European financial institutions.
Also during this period, Mr. Judy became active in a range of civic and charitable activities, including becoming a trustee of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Northwestern University, Carnegie Hall Society, Financial Accounting Foundation, and Field Foundation of Illinois.
In 1978, Mr. Judy stepped down as Becker’s Chief Executive and withdrew from the firm in early 1981. During this period, after many years as a working volunteer, Mr. Judy became President of the Chicago Symphony organization for a term of three years and thereafter was elected a Life Trustee.
From mid-1981 into 1994, Mr. Judy pursued a second career as a professional director, serving in that capacity on the boards of some fifteen public and privately-owned corporations, including Borg-Warner, Mallinckrodt, Robert Bosch North America, MidCon, NICOR, Raymond, DeKalb and Chicago Pacific. Also during this period, Mr. Judy organized and headed the Illinois Independent Higher Education Loan Authority, an agency funding the student loan programs of various private Illinois colleges and universities.
In 1994, Mr. Judy resigned all corporate boards and reduced his civic responsibilities in order to evaluate the possible initiation of a nonprofit research and educational entity dedicated to improving the effectiveness of symphony orchestra organizations. After this evaluation, Mr. Judy activated the Symphony Orchestra Institute in the fall of 1995 and until 2003, essentially devoted full time to the development of this institution. In 2003-4, the future of the Institute was evaluated and it was decided to arrange for an institutional home through which to pursue a new direction using the Institute’s monetary and intellectual resources. Mr. Judy was the 2002 recipient of the Gold Baton Award of the American Symphony Orchestra League given annually to individuals or institutions whose contributions to the American orchestra world extend far beyond a single orchestra to influence and advance the cause of orchestras and symphonic music throughout the country.