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Building Washburn

Ferrells support growth of athletics, campus programs

From Athletics Spotlight - Fall 2017

Dean and Pam FerrellDean Ferrell, ba ’69, honorary ’10, has been a leader in Washburn University’s growth since his days as quarterback of the Ichabod football team from 1965-68.

His coach got him a job on the construction crew that built White Concert Hall and Garvey Fine Arts Center. As the University rebuilt from the tornado of 1966, the football team struggled not only to get wins, but to stay afloat. The Board of Regents voted to drop the team before the 1968 season. Team members, alumni and friends petitioned to be spared, and the board challenged them to sell tickets to raise money. The community responded, and the Board spared the team.

“I think a campus without football is a dead campus,” Ferrell, now the retired owner and president of Ferrell Construction of Topeka, Inc. said. “It was so important to keep the football program. After what we went through in the 60s, I have been determined to never let that happen again.”

He and his wife, Pam, bsn ’96, have done their part to ensure Washburn Athletics doesn’t just survive, but it thrives. They have supported the indoor practice facility, the Yager Stadium renovations, the Whiting Fieldhouse renovation, scholarships and other areas. Dean served on the Board of Regents from 1989-99, and he has been a Washburn University Foundation trustee since 1999.

Pam was a registered nurse working at Stormont Vail Health when she met Dean. She went back to school in 1994 to get her bachelor’s degree. The experience of getting her degree later in life led her to serve on the first board for the Washburn Women’s Alliance, a group of donors who support single parents with Washburn scholarships.

“I was able to see the difficulty these students had in trying to raise children,” she said. “I was fortunate enough to not have to do anything but study for two years to get my degree,” she said.

The two will continue to support their passions and areas on campus that helped them grow.

“I got my start in construction right there on campus while I was playing ball,” Dean said. “What we have seen happen at Washburn since then has been phenomenal.

The band at a football game

You can help support student-athletes

You can help assure Washburn Athletics will continue to thrive by supporting the Ichabod Athletic Fund, the indoor practice facility or another area of your choice. You can give online or contact Bruce Steinbrock by email or at 785.670.1334 to learn how you can make a difference.


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1729 MacVicar Avenue
Topeka, KS 66604
Phone: 785.670.4483