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Our Stories

Alumni, donors, students, faculty and staff

Read and hear from Ichabods who are making a difference at Washburn and in their communities. Many of these articles appear in our publications like The Ichabod, Bell Tower and Washburn Lawyer.

President JuliAnn Mazachek speaking at a lecturnOff and Running: Mazachek lays out big plans in first months of presidency

From The Ichabod - Spring 2023
When JuliAnn Mazachek returned to Washburn University as the new president this February, Alan Bearman was asked by a friend what his work would be like. “I told him I’m going to have to buy a new pair of tennis shoes. She is a person of vision. She's going to have the plan, she's going to have the program, and we're going to be moving forward.”

An arial view of Washburn UniversityPurposeful Change: Washburn, Mazachek unveil vision for premier campus learning experience

From The Ichabod - Spring 2023
Washburn University leaders unveiled a seven-year plan at the board of regents meeting in March, and creating the region’s premier student learning environment was the focus of the new campus vision. When the Washburn University School of Law moves into its new building this summer, many other buildings will see their purpose change as part of this plan.

David Peters and Barbara Waterman-Peters posing in their home surrounded by artA Work of Art: Two artistic alumni balance the perfect marriage of love and art

From The Ichabod - Spring 2023
As practicing artists of more than 50 years, it’s safe to say art is at the heart of everything for husband and wife, Larry Peters and Barbara Waterman-Peters. Together, the alumni couple have built an art-filled life with creative inspiration around every corner – and their impact on Washburn, Topeka and the local art landscape has no end.

Members of Sigma Lambda Gamma posing on campusA Seat at the Table: Multicultural sorority Sigma Lambda Gamma sets out to empower change

From The Ichabod - Spring 2023
Before joining Sigma Lambda Gamma, Lesley Ayala didn’t always have confidence to speak up as a minority. “As a Latina woman, I didn’t feel like I had a say in the room," she said. "It’s very empowering when someone makes a space for you at the table.” Now, as chapter president, Ayala is helping others find the community she did.

A Washburn jumper competing in the Indoor Athletic FacilityHost with the Most: Events give opportunity to showcase first-rate athletic facility

From The Ichabod - Spring 2023
After the nation’s top track and field stars reach the peak of their junior college careers, they need a good place to land. That was one of the many benefits when Washburn hosted the NJCAA track and field championships at its Indoor Athletic Facility. The meet let Washburn show there’s no better place for runners, throwers and leapers to plant their feet.

Savannah Stallbaumer posing in front of a sign on the Washburn Tech campusGoal-focused: Through countless moves in foster care, Stallbaumer stayed focused on nursing dream

From The Ichabod - Spring 2023
As a child, Savannah Stallbaumer never knew where she would be living from month to mont since she stayed in more than 17 homes in next nine years. She switched schools a lot too – she attended one school for only two weeks. When she got to Washburn Tech to study nursing, she knew she was on the right track with solid support to reach her dreams.

Members of the White family posing outside White Law Office in downtown Holton, KansasLegal Legacy: Washburn family has built a 60-year legacy of law practice in Holton

From The Ichabod - Spring 2023
White Law Office and Title Abstract Company, headed by alumnus Dennis White, is recognizing a big milestone this year. The Holton, Kansas, firm is celebrating its 60th anniversary. It’s a momentous occasion made even more remarkable because three generations of the White family have practiced law there after attending the School of Law.

An officer interacts with the criminal justice simulatorPut Into Practice: Training simulator lets students, law enforcement officers practice decision making skills

From The Ichabod - Spring 2023
Julia Kofoid was responding to a homeless person trespassing. With a police officer by her side, the social worker asked the citizen to leave, leading him to become agitated. At any moment, the situation could have turned aggressive. However, the danger was not real since this was a simulation on a screen in the social work class Ethics Workshop.

Jaelen Matthews coordinates a Mario Kart tournamentCalling All Gamers: New Esports & Gaming Lounge provides competition and camaraderie for students

From The Ichabod - Spring 2023
Jaelen Matthews’ favorite moments at work are when it gets loud. As a monitor for the Esports & Gaming Lounge, seeing a group of students in the joy of the moment is her cue the space is living up to its purpose. “I love it when a group of friends is laughing at what just happened in the game and celebrating. I have fun because they’re having fun.”

Softball players celebrating with a player about the score a runPursuing Greatness: Alumni and fans have many ways to support Ichabod student-athletes

From The Ichabod - Spring 2023
The success of Ichabod student-athletes is directly connected to the support of fans, alumni and friends. Washburn Athletics and the Washburn University Alumni Association and Foundation recently put a renewed focus on fundraising for the general athletics fund, renaming the fund the Ichabod Athletic Fund and enhancing donor experiences year-round.

Blanche Parks posing in front of Morgan HallExtraordinary Service: Blanche Parks, b ed ’71, m ed ’76, ends historic 29-year tenure on board of regents

From The Ichabod - Winter 2023
This summer, Blanche Parks ended her tenure as the longest-serving member of Washburn’s board of regents. She saw significant changes and growth – and even became part of Washburn’s history. But if you ask Parks, it was business as usual. “I wasn’t trying to make history, I was just trying to do the job,” Parks said.

Three students walking on campusHigh Value: Among similar schools, Washburn leads the state in latest U.S. News rankings

From The Ichabod - Winter 2023
Zach Frank, dean of the School of Applied Studies, was having dinner this fall with someone who had multiple children attend Washburn and go to graduate school. The dinner guest delivered news Frank and others at Washburn often hear. “He told me, ‘Washburn’s the best kept secret out there. You get a great education at a great price,’” Frank said.

I Will for Washburn logoI Will for Washburn: The Builders and the Investors

From Bell Tower - 2022
Bruce and Theresa McPherson and Jaena, ba '89, and Greg, bba '88, Greenwood joined forces to give $1 million to Washburn University and are asking 100 people to come forward and help spend it. The I Will for Washburn campaign aims to inspire 100 people to make new, documented commitments to include Washburn in their will or estate plans. Those people can then direct $10,000 of the Greenwood/McPherson fund anywhere at Washburn.

Wil Leacox sitting at his drum setAmerica's Drummer: Wil Leacox, b music '70, took a chance in LA, landed 41-year career with America

From The Ichabod - Winter 2023
About the time Wil Leacox finished his music degree at Washburn, the band America recorded “A Horse with No Name” and moved to Los Angeles. Leacox also headed to LA and was making a living with studio work and gigs. A successful audition with America in 1973 led to a 41-year career as the platinum-winning band's drummer.

James Letcher running the footballReturning Stronger: After years of hardships, Ichabod receiver finishing career on high note

From The Ichabod - Winter 2023
onsidering the potential he showed as a freshman wide receiver, and the accolades and NFL attention he earned this year as a senior, one might assume James Letcher, Jr.’s route to success followed a straight path. The truth is, reaching this point required more changes in direction than the kick returns Letcher specialized in for the Washburn football team.

Len and Terry Richter posing at KTWULen and Terry Richter: Because of Viewers Like You

From Bell Tower - 2022
When Len and Terry Richter sit down to watch KTWU, the shows always begin with a special message. “You know at the beginning where they say, ‘This program is made possible by viewers like you?’ Len always says, ‘That’s us!’ We are the viewers like you,” said Terry. The Richters are loyal donors because KTWU provides programming they value; Len is a news and politics junkie while Terry is a fan of the classics.

Mark Dupree posing outside the courthouseRighting the Wrongs: Wyandotte District Attorney Mark Dupree, jd '07, leads the way to ensure justice

From Washburn Lawyer - Winter 2023
Since 1989, innocent Americans, later exonerated, have collectively served over 21,000 years in prison. It’s estimated that more than 15 percent of current inmates are not guilty and were wrongfully charged. If you ask Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree, Sr., those numbers mean our legal system has made some mistakes deserving further review.

Nursing faculty pose with PEARS training equipmentImproved Care: New training lets nursing students better treat child patients in danger

From The Ichabod - Winter 2023
Working as a nurse requires quick thinking and immediate action – particularly when pediatric patients are involved. For nursing student Corinn Searcy, receiving PEARS – pediatric emergency assessment, recognition and stabilization – training has already proven beneficial. “It set us up for success with knowing what to do and what to expect.”

June McCarty Clair and David Woods posingA Fairy Tale Life: Alumna’s musical debuted during Copenhagen study abroad reunion

From The Ichabod - Winter 2023
June McCarty Clair, b music ’66, had her musical about Hans Christian Andersen debut during a reunion of Washburn alumni who studied abroad in Denmark. "Living in Europe while studying its history gave me a whole new perspective and really made it come alive," Clair said of the experience that sparked her interest in Anderen's life.

Davy Phillips coachingLeading, Defending: Phillips stresses team culture, and it’s equating to wins for the soccer team

From The Ichabod - Winter 2023
A coach’s dream scenario might be when everyone buys into the plan, takes leadership and implements it on their own. That is currently happening with the culture Coach Davy Phillips is building on the soccer team, and it’s translating into wins. “This is the first year they've really taken accountability and ran the culture side of things on their own,” said Phillips.

Deyjah Cardenas posingBuilding a Better Life: Cardenas' story as single parent shows Washburn’s Women’s Alliance legacy is growing

From Bell Tower - 2022
When DeyJa Cardenas fled Denver, Colorado, to escape her abusive boyfriend, attending college was the absolute last thing on her mind. “We knew this was our one chance to get away and build a better life,” Cardenas said. Once she settled in Topeka and with the help of WWA, that’s exactly what she did.

Mike ManningSeeking Justice: Mike Manning's relentless pursuit

A special contibution from James Concannon, Professor Emeritus - Washburn Lawyer - Winter 2023
As a student, Mike endured my classes in Legal Research and Writing and Evidence. As a lawyer, his tenacity and commitment to seek both justice for the vulnerable in our society and accountability from those who abuse positions of power make me proud he is a Washburn graduate.

Washburn UniversityRock Solid Remembrance: Led by veteran donors, Washburn completes fundraising for a new memorial

From Bell Tower - 2022
Veterans John Dietrick, ba '73, jd '84, and President Emeritus Jerry Farley talk about why they donated to the new veterans memorial that will soon go up on campus. “Washburn has a long history of both military service and honoring those who served,” Farley said. “We are so proud of our veteran alumni, and we are thankful to everyone who contributed.”

WUmester logo Health and HealingHealth and Healing: WUmester theme looks at all aspects of bettering each other and community

From The Ichabod - Winter 2023
The words health and healing come from the word "hale," meaning to be whole, sound or well. Washburn will study the theme health and healing during this year’s WUmester, a cross-disciplinary learning experience on timely subjects that helps students see the connections between what they study and real-world debates and problems.

Thomas SchultzDown Undercover: Schultz’ 22-year FBI career ended in Australia, where he lives in retirement

From The Ichabod - Winter 2023
When Thomas Schultz, bba ’87, jd ’92, walked across the stage to get his degree at Washburn School of Law, he never could have predicted where life would take him. After working as an assistant district attorney in Kansas, he fulfilled his dream of becoming an FBI agent and had an exciting 22-year career as an investigator all around the world.

Allyn LocknerPhysical Therapists for the Future: Allyn Lockner wants to support the discipline that made a difference for him

From Bell Tower - 2022
Allyn Lockner credits his physical therapist for his success and insisting that he further his education. That’s why he created the Allyn O. Lockner Endowment Fund: Physical Therapists for the Future at Washburn University, where he and his wife have long enjoyed attending activities and events.

Items made in Kansas CityThinking Caps: From photos to headwear, creative juices always flowing for KC-area business owner

From The Ichabod - Winter 2023
Ever since his time at Washburn, Chad Hickman has worn a lot of hats. His combination of entrepreneurial and artistic abilities continues to serve him well as founder and CEO of Sandlot Goods, a Kansas City-based business that makes all its merchandise locally. 

Erika Jurado-Graham posingThe Right Influence: Kansas City attorney becomes one of nation’s go-to authorities on immigration

From Washburn Lawyer - Winter 2023
When people have questions, they turn to the internet. When they have questions about immigration, they turn to Erika Jurado-Graham, ’07. With more than 2 million followers, her social media became more than just a marketing avenue for her Kansas City-based immigration law firm – it became an educational tool for immigrants all around the country.  

Madison Farr posingHigh Marks: Madison Farr, bba '20, m acc '21, wins award for exceptional CPA exam score

From The Ichabod - Winter 2023
Simply passing the CPA exam with a score of 75 is an accomplishment. Many don’t pass, which makes what Madison Farr achieved so notable. She not only passed the CPA exam on her first attempt, but she also won an award for her high score. She was one of 57 winners out of the 72,000 people who sat for the exam in 2021. 

Mike KuckelmanFostering Collaboration: By finding a middle ground, attorney brings together families and political parties

From Washburn Lawyer - Winter 2023
When Mike Kuckelman first started as a lawyer, he had friends struggle with fertility and saw the emotional and financial toll hopeful parents encounter during the adoption process. He decided then he would help people with adoption cases pro bono. For someone who has a lot on his plate, he said this small part of his practice brings him the most fulfillment. 


"If you see something powerful in someone, tell them. If you think someone has the power to grow, be that supportive system"

Wake Up with Washburn - Nov. 2022
Janice Watkins, ba '05, presented "Building a Solid Foundation: Education, Servant Leadership and Housing" during Wake Up with Washburn.

Gene and Judy OlanderA More Just Society: Law alumni Gene, jd '63, and Judy, jd '82, Olander create legacy for public service

From Bell Tower - 2022
Gene and Judith Olander have always been supporters of Washburn University School of Law – they felt that educations equipped them well for their careers in public service. So for them, they gave back by establishing the Gene and Judy Olander Public Service Law Scholarship at Washburn.

David Fenley posing in Country Club PlazaCommunity Impact: Evidence of Fenley’s support extends from Washburn to Kansas City

From Washburn Lawyer - Winter 2023
It’s hard to drive through downtown Kansas City without seeing one of the companies David Fenley, bba ’76, jd ’79, has helped during his 45-year career as a real estate transactions lawyer. In recent years, he has worked with several recognizable institutions to build national headquarters, develop property, and shape the look and feel of the city. 

Recital Hall renderingPlaying Host: Washburn’s new recital hall helps stage performances of all kinds

From Bell Tower - 2022
White Concert Hall's reputation as an entertainment staple means it’s in high demand. The 1,100-seat building is booked year-round and used by organizations outside of Washburn more than half of the time. Washburn is undergoing a fundraising effort to build a new recital hall to provide a smaller, more intimate setting equipped with the latest technology.

Law Clinic sign outside buildingPreparing Students: The next generation of students gain practice while helping the community

From Washburn Lawyer - Winter 2023
Lauren Martin, bls ’20, is still a student at Washburn Law, but she has already interviewed clients, drafted pleadings, prepared for trial, and even presented a case in court. In her second semester with the Washburn Law Clinic, she recently worked on a complex guardianship case and was able to secure a positive outcome for the children involved. 



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Spring 2023 Ichabod magazine cover, roses and a rock wall in front of Morgan Hall

The Ichabod tells our story with features on alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends, along with the latest campus news. View the current and past editions


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