Charlotte Richter | Staff Writer
The Command and General Staff College Foundation signified its assumption of operations of the Frontier Army Museum Gift Shop with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Dec. 13 at the museum.
CGSC Foundation President/CEO Roderick Cox, FAM Curator Russell Ronspies and the CGSC Foundation Director of Operations Lora Morgan cut the ribbon to announce the change in operations.
The Fort Leavenworth Historical Society operated the FAM gift shop until earlier this year,
and the CGSC Foundation began operations Sept. 1.
“We had worked with the historical society for years, so I had spoken with the previous manager for the gift shop, and we just briefly discussed possibilities,” Ronspies said. “One of the first things that came up was the CGSC Foundation, and I said let’s reach out to them and see if they have any interest. We started conversations and it really started to take off.”
Ronspies said while the change in ownership is still new, the partnership is going well. He
has received positive feedback and he said he is pleased with visitation numbers so far.
“When people come to the museum, they expect to see all the wonderful things, but they also want the opportunity to go in and purchase an item they can take home as a reminder of their visit here,” Ronspies said.“I think the things they offer in the gift shop really complement what we offer in the exhibits and galleries.”
Cox said it is part of the foundation’s mission to positively affect the community. He said the CGSC Foundation installed new technology, increased inventory and reorganized the layout of the store. The foundation, the museum and the Friends of the Frontier Army Museum also began conversations on joint programming for upcoming events, as well as development of new products.
“We’ve developed a series of iconic images that will represent Fort Leavenworth and what the spirit was of Leavenworth with the decision to open up the trails westward,” Cox said.
Cox said the logos are part of a signature brand in the gift shop, alongside toys, historical books and Kansas souvenirs.
The CGSC Foundation donates a portion of the profit made from the gift shop back to the mu seum. Deputy Director and Museum Specialist Megan Hunter said the museum often distributes the funds between operations and conservation. Conservation allows the museum to provide restorations and preserve artifacts.