Whiting Fieldhouse flags


Pursuing Greatness

Alumni and fans have many ways to support Ichabod student-athletes

Softball players celebrating with a player about the score a run

From The Ichabod
By Jeremy Wangler

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 are constantly working to improve the experience for those supporters. They 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.

Along with the excitement at games, fans and supporters can attend events like the Alumni Association football tailgates during home games, the Athletics Kickoff Classic and the Golden Bods Awards. All are invited to these events.

“This is a great step toward improving our first-class donor and alumni experience – which ultimately provides our student-athletes ample opportunities to succeed in competition and academically,” said Matt Hutchinson, associate athletic director and development director. “Renaming the fund allows us to better tell the story of everything the fund does to support student-athletes and re-focus our efforts on letting people know the value of supporting Ichabods. Everyone’s ultimate goal is to see the student-athletes succeed and graduate.”

Gifts to the Ichabod Athletic Fund allow Washburn Athletics to best choose where to direct those funds, supporting Ichabods in ways beyond what the university budget allots such as providing extra scholarship dollars, travel for unique team trips and supporting the Bods Care program.

Washburn had its best-ever finish a year ago in the 2021-22 Learfield Directors’ Cup, finishing 21st among all NCAA Division II schools. The Directors’ Cup awards points to a school based on the NCAA postseason finish of its sports. Highlighting Washburn last season was volleyball’s runner-up finish in the NCAA national championship and baseball making its first-ever trip to the NCAA tournament.

That success continued this year with men’s cross country making its first-ever NCAA national appearance and winning the award for having the highest team grade-point average at the meet. Women’s tennis player Sonia Smagina was national runner-up at the ITA Cup in the fall. Volleyball and football each produced an Academic All-American. Spring sports were finishing strong with all of them looking for postseason play.

“Athletically, we’ve had a lot of success the previous two years and felt it was appropriate to build on that momentum as we realigned our goals from a development perspective,” Hutchinson said.

There are several other ways to give to Washburn Athletics. Donors can support the Ichabod Athletic Scholarship Fund and directly help student-athletes achieve their academic and career goals. Donors can also support capital projects. Recently completed projects include the Indoor Athletic Facility and Gahnstrom Field in the Washburn Softball Complex. Donors can also contribute to each individual sport’s program fund or scholarship fund.

Giving to Washburn Athletics took on a fun and competitive nature during this year’s Washburn Day of Giving. The department raised $75,748 from 269 gifts, and the football and golf teams won incentives for finishing in the top five among all Washburn University departments for having the highest number of gifts.

In total, more than 650 individuals, couples and organizations gave to Washburn Athletics during the 2021-22 season.

Ichabod mascot

You can give student-athletes a chance to pursue their athletic and educational dreams by supporting the Ichabod Athletic Fund with a gift online.

Matt HutchinsonYou can also contact Matt Hutchinson by email or at 785.670.1334 to learn about these events, the Ichabod Athletic Fund, or creating an endowed scholarship or estate gift that will change student-athletes' lives for generations to come.



Winter 2024 The Ichabod magazine cover with picture of the bell tower and snow fallen on campus

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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Topeka, KS 66604 Phone: 785.670.4483
Email: contactus@wualumni.org