TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — In between Washburn softball games on Saturday, the team paused to recognize Bill and Emilie Gahnstrom, a local couple who now holds the name of the field. In late October of last year, the Washburn Board of Regents unanimously voted to change the name of the Washburn Softball Complex to Gahnstrom Field.
Bill and Emilie Gahnstrom have funded over $400,000 in improvements to the softball complex in the last few years. Bill was previously a math professor at Washburn for 24 years. He and his wife Emilie, who is an active volunteer in the community, largely contributed to funding the new turf field and other projects surrounding the softball facilities.
“When I met the coach, she didn’t know me from Adam,” said Bill Gahnstrom. “She said important things in her program were softball, student success, and students being involved in the community. Those are all things that are near and dear to our hearts, so that became the program that we were interested in helping.”
The Ichabods are one of three teams in the MIAA to have a fully-turfed field.
“It’s through their [Gahnstrom’s] commitment to the softball program we can give our student-athletes the best possible experience by having one of the best facilities in the MIAA and we could not have accomplished this without their support,” said Washburn Athletic Director Loren Ferré.
The Ichabod softball team beat Nebraska-Kearney in both games of the double-header on Saturday