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Generous Gift from Mull Family Enhances Barton Community College’s Fine Arts and Agriculture Program


By Maggie Harris, Barton Community College 


GREAT BEND, Kan. — The Keith and Marian Mull family were long-time supporters and donors of Barton Community College and the Barton Foundation, with gifts dating back 30 years, and a recent gift of significance made in memory of the Mulls is being used to help two very different but essential areas of the College.

To carry on the tradition set by Keith and Marian, the family made a sizeable gift that was to be used to support both the fine arts department and the development of the new Ag and Transportation Complex, which will open in Fall 2024.

The Mull’s daughter Jeanine Haynes said her parents had a passion for the arts and were avid supporters of rural initiatives.

“My parents dedicated their lives to farming, cattle ranching, and philanthropy,” she said. “Their commitment extended to advocating for higher education opportunities for rural Kansans, with a special emphasis on fostering the fine arts and enhancing the library, notably the Sunflower Room, at Barton.”

The portion of the gift allocated for the performing arts was used for enhancements to the Fine Arts Auditorium, which benefits several of Barton’s arts programs and included the purchase of a state-of-the-art scenery and video projection system, new spotlights, and a new soundboard.

These enhancements were enjoyed by the audience of the spring musical “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” which featured ever-changing vibrant scenes made possible by the projection system. The Endowment Concert on May 9 will also feature similar scenery and enhanced ambiance as well. Proceeds from the concert will support the Vocal and Instrumental Music Endowment.

Haynes was able to witness the enhancements personally.

“Marcus Mull, a great nephew of my parents, was a leading cast member of ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,’” she said. “It is fun to see first-hand the impact gifts like this can make for Barton and the community.”

The donated funds also purchased a skeleton model for dance kinesiology, art plaster casts, and cameras.

Haynes said that agriculture and fine arts held a special place in her parent’s hearts.

“We hope that their contribution will ignite future generations of students’ curiosity and inspire them to explore the innovations and advancements in the fields of agriculture and fine arts,” she said.

In 1997, the Keith and Marian Mull Endowment for Academic Studies began to support students pursuing various academic programs at Barton. The endowment was followed by a generous donation to the library remodel project in 2006, including the donation of a Vincent VanGogh sunflower print that still hangs in the library today.

For more information on supporting student endowments, contact the Barton Foundation at (620) 786-1136 or visit