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Donor Spotlight


CF Foundation Receives Largest Gift in College History

“Mrs. Kraus was a great friend and benefactor to the museum and college,” said Dr. James Henningsen, CF president. “Her vibrancy is sorely missed by all who knew her, but her legacy and passion for education will live on.”

Kraus’ legacy at CF and Appleton Museum of Art can be found in numerous forms. She was a volunteer for the Appleton Museum of Art for more than 19 years, serving in the museum’s docent program, and was recognized as Docent of the Year in 2003. Kraus was a regular on the museum’s Trips ’n’ Tours program, and her enthusiasm and commitment to young people was unwavering. She will be remembered for her support of the education wing of the Appleton in the Daniel and Mary Kraus ARTSpace.

Kraus’ commitment to education extended beyond the arts. She generously endowed seven STEPS to CF scholarships, benefiting promising elementary students at Romeo Elementary School, Ward-Highlands Elementary School, Fort McCoy School, and three scholarships for CF students in memory of her late husband and brothers: Daniel M. Kraus MD Endowed Memorial Scholarship, Arthur Woods O’Steen Endowed Memorial Scholarship, and the (Ret.) Col. Ernest Clark O’Steen Endowed Memorial Scholarship.

CF’s Nursing Simulation Center is named in memory of Kraus’ late husband, Dr. Daniel Kraus. Her support of the Simulation Center was instrumental in making CF’s state-of-the-art training facility a reality for students at a critical time when support from the state was unavailable, but demand for nurses was high. Always witty, she requested the patient simulators at the center be named after her family and friends. As a retired nurse, Kraus was passionate about students having the best opportunity and equipment available to learn and perfect their skills and training.

CF recognized Kraus posthumously with the 2019 Distinguished Service Award at its fall 2019 graduation ceremony. The annual award is given to individuals who have provided significant leadership and service to the college.

“This significant gift follows after so many previous generous gifts from Mary,” said Chris Knife, executive director of the CF Foundation. “Mary’s donation has such an important impact on our students, programs and community, and this is such a fantastic and committed community. It is very humbling to work with and to get to know people like Mrs. Kraus, who want to help CF become a better place for our students and community. It’s a privilege and honor to have known her.”

The CF Foundation, founded in 1959, is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation that enhances the college’s programs and services through the development and management of private contributions and community partnerships. To learn more, visit

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