TOPEKA, KAN. (WIBW)—It's not game day in Washburn’s Lee Arena, just time to a meet over a meal. August 21st was a time for and community members and student athletes to dine together, to welcome the students and to show thanks for the community’s support. Some people in Lee Arena even remember wearing their Washburn uniform.
"I've been around Washburn since '66. I was in the first incoming class after the tornado hit. I had a football scholarship and without that I wouldn't have been able to attend school,” said donor Bernie Bianchino.
Many students may share a similar story, and coaches see the effect first-hand.
“Because of them we have this 5th year program, where a player who's used up his eligibility can still graduate,” said volleyball coach Herron.
Every coach sent a big thank you on the podium -- not only for helping build their programs, but for also shaping their player's lives.
“I want to thank them. Our program is one of the leading division two programs because of them. They support us with scholarships & facilities. They provide the students at Washburn a first class experience,” said football coach Schurig.
That experience excites the athletes for the upcoming year.
“I'm excited for basketball, volleyball, soccer, football. It's exciting to be a student athlete and support fellow student athletes,” said basketball player Bobby Chipman.