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K-State Today

September 17, 2020

Message from KSU Foundation President and CEO: Carl R. Ice to retire from BNSF Railway

Submitted by Marisa Larson

Dear campus community,

Recently, you may have seen an announcement about a leadership succession at BNSF Railway and the upcoming retirement of current CEO, Carl Ice. Carl will retire at the end of 2020 and remain on BNSF's board of directors.

Over the last 42 years, leadership and service to the railroad industry has been a significant part of Carl's life. He has had a huge impact on the industry and cares deeply about the people who make our nation's railroads the enduring backbone of America's freight and transportation infrastructure. Carl began his career with the Santa Fe Railroad after graduation from Kansas State University in 1979. In 1995, he led a team that orchestrated the merger and subsequent integration of Burlington Northern Railroad and Santa Fe Railway. Since then, he has helped establish a strong culture and lead the largest Class I railroad in North America. He is well known for his integrity, earnest professional commitment, and holding people — and himself — to high standards, while leading the company and its employees to reach new heights.

Throughout his career, Carl has been committed to growing and promoting internal staff and helping them develop their full potential. For years, he has served as a mentor to his successor Kathryn M. Farmer, who currently serves as BNSF's executive vice president for operations. This recent succession announcement says a lot about Carl's reputation as an outstanding builder and leader of people.

As you know, Carl and his wife, Mary, have been tremendous advocates, ambassadors and investors at Kansas State University, making significant philanthropic investments in students, faculty, facilities and overall excellence. A truly iconic moment last fall was celebrating the naming of the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering.

Carl's dedication to BNSF and its employees, his family and the K-State family is truly remarkable. We look forward to serving alongside Carl, long into the future, as we continue to boldly advance K-State together.

Go Cats!
Greg Willems
President and CEO
KSU Foundation