Ice family invests in Kansas History and Rural Studies

Carl and Mary Ice have given a gift to support Chapman Center for Rural Studies and Kansas History: Journal of the Central Plains.

Campaign Themes:

“Knowing our shared history lays a strong foundation for a better future. Providing students with the tools to explore personal and community histories and build an archive ensures our collective stories will not be lost from memory.” - Mary Ice


Carl and Mary Ice, Westlake, Texas, have given a gift to support Kansas State University’s Chapman Center for Rural Studies and Kansas History: Journal of the Central Plains to advance the study and understanding of Kansas rural history.

The Ices’ gift provides for undergraduate student research of Kansas rural ranching communities in the Flint Hills. Thanks to the Ices’ generosity, students and interns in the Chapman Center for Rural Studies will gain practical professional experience in preservation of historic photographs, financial records and documents unique to the families and communities of the Flint Hills. Students also collected and transcribed the oral histories of rural communities from living residents. Editorial assistants for Kansas History have gained greater opportunity to develop essential skills such as data collection, archival research, fact checking, digital marketing and captioning for an academic and professional publication.

Carl Ice is a 1979 graduate with a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from the College of Engineering. Mary Ice graduated in 1980 with a bachelor's degree in home economics education from the College of Human Ecology and in 1988 with her Master of Science in adult occupational continuing education from the College of Education.

Carl and Mary are both members of the KSU Foundation Board of Trustees and serve on the Innovation and Inspiration Campaign steering committee. Carl serves on the KSU Foundation Board of Directors. He is past chair of the College of Engineering Advisory Council and a former member of the Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering Advisory Council. Mary is a member of the President's Advisory Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics and the Ahearn Fund Advisory Group. She is a former member of the K-State Alumni Association Board of Directors and also served as president of the College of Human Ecology Alumni Advisory Board.

“We are honored to help students, faculty and Kansas move forward,” said Carl. “Both the Kansas history journal and Chapman Center for Rural Studies have demonstrated leadership in preserving Kansas culture and making their work available to everyone.”

“Knowing our shared history lays a strong foundation for a better future,” said Mary. “Providing students with the tools to explore personal and community histories and build an archive ensures our collective stories will not be lost from memory.”

“I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience and work alongside the distinguished experts in the Chapman Center for Rural Studies,” said Jackson Stevens, junior in mass communications and Chapman Center for Rural Studies intern, a position sustained by the Ices’ gift. “This has given me the chance to shape my professional research, writing and interviewing skills — all thanks to the Ice family!”

“The Ices’ partnership with the Chapman Center for Rural Studies broadens the research into the rich culture of Kansas ranch communities,” said Bonnie Lynn-Sherow, executive director of the Chapman Center for Rural Studies and associate professor of history. “Students are collecting the stories and songs of ranching families and their communities — some of whom have been getting together to play music for over a century. These unique narratives; their illustrations, images and songs will be collected as text, tape and video to create a data set for future generations to discover and enjoy.”

“Carl and Mary Ices’ commitment sustains a 135-year tradition of publishing the history of Kansas so we have an informed foundation on which to build our future,” said professor of history James Sherow, the managing editor of the Kansas history journal. “And just as important, as the student editorial assistants prepare for a career in teaching, their excitement in doing historical research and publishing will lead future generations of their students toward a greater appreciation and understanding of the rich legacy of Kansas.”

Philanthropic contributions to K-State are coordinated by the Kansas State University Foundation. The foundation is leading Innovation and Inspiration: The Campaign for Kansas State University to raise $1.4 billion for student success, faculty development, facility enhancement and programmatic success.

Carl, Mary and Karen Ice with Chapman Center for Rural Studies and Kansas History Journal students and staff

Carl, Mary and Karen Ice, and researchers from Kansas State University's Chapman Center for Rural Studies and Kansas History: Journal of the Central Plains conducted a land survey in northeast Kansas this summer. Featured in the photo are Shaun Knipp, undergraduate research assistant, Chapman Center; Brittany Tanner, undergraduate editorial assistant, Kansas history journal; Dr. James Sherow, professor of history and managing editor, Kansas history journal; Bonnie Lynn-Sherow, executive director, Chapman Center and associate professor of history; Mary Ice, Carl Ice and Karen Ice. (Courtesy Photo/Chapman Center for Rural Studies)

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