Flint Hills Discovery Center Receives $750,000 Gift

The Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation has received a gift of $750,000 from Marty Vanier and Bob Krause. Foundation President, Bruce Snead, announced today that over a five year period, $500,000 of the gift will be earmarked for the City of Manhattan, $220,000 will establish a semi-endowment fund for upkeep of the Flint Hills Discovery Center’s Immersive Experience Theater, and $30,000 will support the Foundation in fundraising efforts.

“The FHDC Foundation is thrilled to facilitate this generous contribution which recognizes the critical value of the creation and construction of these wonderful exhibits by the City of Manhattan,” said Snead, “These donors see the great regional benefits of the FHDC and especially the Immersive Experience effects on visitors and residents.” The Flint Hills Discovery Center’s Immersive Experience Theater will be named in honor of this generous gift.
Flint Hills Discovery Center Director, Fred Goss added, “The gift to the Flint Hills Discovery Center through our Foundation is one that speaks volumes about the Discovery Center yet it tells all of us how important the eco region is as a whole to the state of Kansas and the importance of that last remaining and intact piece of the tall grass prairie now contained within only a few million acres.”

“This wonderful gift ensures the ‘Tides of Time’ will continue to demonstrate the Flint Hills Tallgrass prairie story and also provide a tremendous opportunity to enhance this already magnificent immersive experience,” said Ron Fehr, Manhattan City Manager, “The Flint Hills Discovery Center resulted from the hard work and dedication of hundreds of individuals — including many subject matter experts, ranchers, and other visionary volunteers along with consultants, contractors, elected and appointed officials, citizens and generous benefactors like Marty and Bob. Thank you for continuing to transform the vision into experiences.”
“So many people in the City and the region were involved in crafting the vision for this keystone of the redevelopment of downtown Manhattan and worked diligently to achieve it,” said Vanier and Krause, “The Flint Hills Discovery Center represents what can be achieved through effective public and private business partnerships. We chose to make our gift to encourage others to join us in bringing the private philanthropic sector to that partnership by helping to ensure the vibrancy of the Flint Hills Discovery Center.”

Marty and Bob have a long history of philanthropy in supporting numerous community and regional organizations, as well as several programs at Kansas State University.

Dr. Marty Vanier is a third generation Kansas rancher and has always had a love of the tallgrass prairie and an appreciation for its role in shaping Kansas values and local agricultural economy. This sense of place and commitment comes from having been raised on a central Kansas ranch that bred both registered and commercial horned Hereford cattle. Currently the Director of Operations for KSU’s National Agricultural Biosecurity Center, Vanier received her B.S. in Agriculture (Animal Science) and her D.V.M. from Kansas State University.
Long involved in community and professional organizations as both a founding member and leader, professionally Dr. Vanier is a member of several veterinary specialty associations and received the Kansas Veterinary Medical Association President’s Award in 2002, 2012 and 2014 and the Veterinarian of the Year Award in 2009. She will serve as President of the Association in 2015-2016.
Bob Krause has over 35 years of experience in key executive leadership positions in higher education and even though he refers to himself as a “transplant,” he considers the Flint Hills home. He spent the last 23 years of his professional career as Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Kansas State University with responsibilities for university external relations, student services, enrollment management, economic development and a stint as Athletic Director. During that time Bob served on the Manhattan Regional Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee for over 20 years.

Since retiring in 2009, Krause has remained active in consulting with private for-profit, not-for-profit and governmental organizations. He serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of NutriJoy, Inc., serves on the Board of Directors of the Soaring with Eagles Foundation and the Mercy Community Health Foundation. He also serves on the advisory board of the Snyder Leadership Legacy Fellows at the K-State Staley School of Leadership Studies.

Both Marty and Bob feel a responsibility to be good stewards of the land and pass that appreciation of the Flint Hills on to future generations of young people. “Supporting the Flint Hills Discovery Center gives us an opportunity to fulfill our obligation to be responsible,” said Marty.

Story from Flint Hills Discovery Center