Ice Family Roots Run Deep in Purple
Funded completely by faithful K-State donors, the Vanier Football Complex is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2015 football season.
With twice as much Academic Learning Center space and a massive new Strength and Conditioning Center planned for the use of all K-State's 450 student-athletes, the current two-story building is about to grow into a four-story complex.
Exciting and new on the inside, the Vanier Football Complex project will also enhance the North End Zone experience in Bill Snyder Family Stadium with a newly enclosed seating bowl. Improving the grass roots family seating experience and bringing an even louder, more intimidating atmosphere to each and every game day, starting next season, the Wildcats will experience home field advantage like never before.
The total budget for the new Vanier Football Complex is projected at $69 million including all equipment and technology. With a milestone of more than $45 million in gifts and pledges already raised towards the project, K-State Athletics is working hard to reach its goal of $50 million dollars in philanthropic support for the Vanier Football Complex.
Sports Extra will take the next several weeks highlighting those who have made lead gifts toward this transformational project. Today, these stories start with dedicated Wildcats Carl and Mary Ice of Westlake, Texas.
A couple who truly bleeds purple, both Carl and Mary are proud K-State alumni. Carl, a Kansas native, born in Topeka, Kansas, graduated from Kansas State University in a 1979 with a degree in Industrial Engineering, and he is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. Mary, born in Baxter Springs, Kansas, graduated in 1980 with her bachelor's degree from the College of Human Ecology; she then continued on to receive her Master's from the College of Education in 1988.
"We have many, many happy memories of being at Bill Snyder Family Stadium," said Carl. "We want to help provide opportunities for our teams to be in position to win championships on the field and excel in the classroom. The leaders in athletics, the head coach, coaching staff and players have earned this new facility."
"Carl and I are both first-generation college graduates, and there were scholarships available for us when we were students," explained Mary. "The more involved we have become with the university, the more we realized that there are many facets. It's great to do things for the students through scholarships; however, there are many more opportunities through the university that are important to their education. Whether that's through athletics or studying abroad, there are all kinds of things that can make a difference in their experience at K-State."
Through both athletics and education, the Ices' impact has surely made a difference at K-State. The university means a great deal to the Ice family, and they said having leaders like K-State football head coach Bill Snyder make them especially proud to support Wildcat sports.
"We have a great deal of respect and appreciation for Coach Snyder," said Carl. "He is a great coach, that's been proven by all the success that his teams have had, at the same time, he is a man of character. His leadership with caring and concern for the players and people of the program as well as all the people of Kansas State has had a great impact."
Mary adds, "Look at his Sixteen Goals; he has defined our culture at Kansas State and by doing so the expectation of what, not only student athletes should be doing, but also what all of us as K-Staters should be doing."
While the Ice family admires Snyder, the beloved football coach thinks fondly of Carl and Mary and everything they have done for Kansas State.
"Regardless of what their investment is in it, they're both wonderful people," said Snyder on the Ice family. "They're great friends. I enjoy them a great deal and am very grateful to them for investing themselves. There are a lot of people who have made a substantial investment in moving forward with this project, they certainly wanted to take a lead in it, and I admire them for that, but if they hadn't given a penny they would still be dear friends just because of the quality and character of people that they are; they're awfully good people."
Along with their gifts to the Vanier Football complex, the Ices have also been involved in many other ways.
In addition to making one of the largest commitments to the Vanier Football Complex, the Ices have also had an impact across the K-State campus. Carl and Mary Ice made the first commitment to the College of Engineering Phase IV building expansion and have also made leadership gifts to scholarships in Engineering, Human Ecology and Journalism as well as an emergency student fund to help K-State students in need.
With Athletics, the couple made the first leadership gift to the West Stadium Center and made a significant capital gift to the funding of the Basketball Training Facility. The Ices have also made private gifts over the years and provide the Carl and Mary Ice Football Scholarship.
"We believe K-State has made a tremendous difference in our lives and the lives of many others," said Mary. "We want to help make sure the opportunity continues for generations to come."
The Ices have kept K-State in the family as their son, Marshall & daughter-in-law Megan, both graduated from the College of Arts & Sciences in 2003 and 2004, respectively. Marshall earned his degree in Mass Communications, while Megan graduated in Sociology. Their daughter, Karen, is working on her Master's through the K-State Distance Learning Program.
The Vanier Football Complex will be funded completely by private capital gift donations and additional athletics department revenue to ensure fiscal responsibility is maintained. For those wanting to get involved or support the Vanier Football Complex project, the best way to do so is to join the Ahearn Fund, K-State's National Fund for Student-Athlete Excellence. The Ahearn Fund not only supports scholarships for our 458 student-athletes, but also provides critical funding in areas such as sports medicine and academics, as well as capital for this transformational facility. To support this project and K-State's student-athletes please click here.