TOPEKA, KS—The Kansas Historical Society announced it has received a $150,000 gift from Senator Robert Dole. The gift will assist with the Historical Society’s programs including Fort Hays State Historic Site in Hays and William Allen White House State Historic Site in Emporia.
Dole, a native of Russell, was studying law at the University of Kansas when the United States became involved in World War II. He left his studies to serve as a member of the U.S. Army’s Enlisted Reserve Corps. After recovering from injuries sustained in the war, Dole attended the University of Arizona and Washburn University, where he received his law degree. He began a long political career that culminated with 27 years of service as United States Senator, serving part of the time as Senate Majority Leader. Dole has also been involved in presidential politics and has authored several books. He serves as special counsel to the Washington, D.C., law firm of Alston & Bird and is a political/public policy consultant and public speaker.
Dole said, "I am proud of what the Kansas Historical Society is doing to preserve our heritage and our historic sites throughout the state, to educate ourselves and others about the important contributions of Kansans throughout our nation's history, offer researchers and students what they need to do their important work and, finally, remind everyone of the values and sacrifices of Kansans that still help make this a great country."
“Senator Dole has personally contributed so much to the history of Kansas through his work and public service,” said Historical Society Executive Director Jennie Chinn. “We are humbled by his generosity, and are grateful for his support. Our vision is to enrich people’s lives by connecting them to the past. This gift will allow us to help visitors and school children make their own personal connection to Kansas history.”
At this time, the Historical Society hasn’t earmarked the gift for certain programs. “We’re taking a wait-and-see approach,” Chinn said. “In the coming weeks, as we begin to see how the state funding picture looks for next year, we’ll make some decisions. We’ll use this gift to cover any shortfalls that will prevent us from continuing to provide programs to visitors at the two sites, particularly those intended to reach students K-12.”
The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency that exists in partnership with the Kansas State Historical Society, Inc., a non-profit organization. KSHS, Inc., serves as the membership, retail, fundraising, and fund-management organization for the Kansas Historical Society.