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Shock the World Campaign
In This Issue

       

Equity Bank Walkway of Champions
Tracy and Eric Namee
Tracy and Eric Namee in their Eck Stadium skybox.

ERIC & TRACY NAMEE

Eric Namee has had a long association with the WSU baseball program, dating back to when he was a student in the 1970s. He can remember when the team had practices at a nearby public park and the players changed clothes in their cars. Wichita State has come a long way since then.

“We’ve been one of the premier college programs in the country for many years and Eck Stadium has been one of the top baseball stadiums,” Namee says. “Our contribution to the stadium project will help ensure that we remain one of the marquee programs and venues in the country.”

Namee was there for the first practices coached by Gene Stephenson, college baseball’s winningest coach during his WSU tenure.

“From the beginning, it was a program that was done the right way,” says Namee, who graduated in 1980 and went on to earn a law degree. “The players were encouraged to do well on and off the field. That’s a standard I’d like to see continue in the years to come.”

Namee and a foundation established by Tracy’s aunt were the single largest donors to an Eck Stadium improvement project completed in 2000. The gift was recognized through the naming of the Virginia H. Farah All-American Club in the stadium. The latest gift from Eric and Tracy supports the final phase of a five-part improvement plan for Eck Stadium.

“It’s all about creating a program and facilities that will continue to attract the highest-quality players,” says Namee, who serves on the Athletic Facilities Leadership Council, a group of volunteers helping to raise funds for the facilities as part of the Shock the World campaign.

Tracy and Eric Namee
Larry and Nicki Soice

LARRY & NICKI SOICE

Larry and Nicki like that the Charles Koch Arena project supports both athletic achievement and academic excellence. A key feature of the project is the new Wichita State Athletics Student Center, with a much larger study facility for student-athletes than exists now.

“This project reinforces that these athletes are first and foremost students,” Larry says. “We cheer them from the stands; we applaud their educational quests.”

Their gift also shows appreciation “for the great joy we have received from our many WSU experiences and for the lifelong friendships we’ve found along the way,” Nicki says.

Larry and Nicki both graduated from Fort Hays State University. Their ties to Wichita State developed in part because of their son, Scott, who graduated in 1996 and died in 2011. In his honor, they established the Scott E. Soice Engineering Scholarship and the President’s Scholarship for Sigma Phi Epsilon.

Dr. Larry Beamer and Dr. Debbie Haynes
Larry Beamer and Debbie Haynes

DR. LARRY BEAMER & DR. DEBBIE HAYNES

Debbie and Larry see WSU Athletics as a window into the university. It’s important to them that people who look into that window get the best impression possible.

“The Roundhouse Renovation of Charles Koch Arena was 12 years ago and it provided a great venue for three sports and increased academic space for all athletes,” says Debbie, chair-elect of the WSU Foundation.

“Today, we have significantly more student-athletes and coaches and they need functional space for the day-to-day work required to have an excellent program.”

The Charles Koch Arena upgrade will allow Wichita State to continue to be at the top of its game, she says. Debbie graduated from Wichita State in 1976. Larry graduated from Emporia State University. Both earned degrees from the University of Kansas School of Medicine.


DONDLINGER & SONS CONSTRUCTION

For good reason, the folks at Dondlinger & Sons know every nook and cranny of Charles Koch Arena. The company constructed Henry Levitt Arena (known then as the Roundhouse) in the mid-1950s and was the contractor in charge of renovating it in the early 2000s to what is now Charles Koch Arena.

“This current project is important for several reasons,” says Tom Dondlinger, company president. “It strengthen athletics, ensures our student-athletes get the help they need to earn degrees and maximizes the university’s previous investments in this facility.”

Larry & Nicki Soice

The project also is an investment in an experience that enriches the lives of many people in the community, says Dondlinger, who chairs the Athletic Facilities Leadership Council. He and his wife, Colleen, have also made a generous personal contribution to the arena project.

GOEBEL FAMILY/STAR LUMBER CHARITABLE TRUST

The Goebel family, owners of Star Lumber & Supply Co., believe that Wichita State plays a crucial role in the quality of life of the Wichita area. That’s why their charitable trust has been a generous and longtime contributor to the university.

“Wichita State provides a source of pride and community leadership that only a major urban university can deliver, and it does that very well,” says Chris Goebel, Star Lumber’s chairman and CEO.

The Charles Koch Arena project is especially praiseworthy because of its emphasis on academics for student athletes, he said.

Larry & Nicki Soice

“While we often see Shocker athletes on the court or on TV, it is important that we also know that academic support is being provided in an environment that will make them winners off the court as well as on,” Goebel says.

He noted that nearly a dozen Goebel family members have attended Wichita State. In addition, more than 100 employee dependents have attended WSU utilizing the Star Lumber Scholarship Program.