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Largest Private Donor to Heritage Center Expansion

Posted 12/14/09 (Mon)


Kirk Lanterman, pictured at the top right end of the table, met legislative and state leders at a luncheon January 29 in the Governor's Conference Room at the State Capitol.








Lanterman, second from left, visits with Lt. Governor Jack Dalrymple, Tourism Director Sara Otte Coleman and SHSND Director Merl Paaverud following the luncheon. 

Bismarck-Mandan native Kirk Lanterman, now of Seattle, Washington, the chairman emeritus of the Holland America Cruise Line, visited the State Capitol during a visit to the area on January 29. During his visit he met with legislative leaders and state officials at a luncheon in the Governor’s Conference Room hosted by Lt. Governor Jack Dalrymple, Minot Senator Bob Horne and the State Historical Society of North Dakota and its Foundation. He also was the guest of Senator Horne, who is a SHSND Foundation History Trustee and Board Member, during that afternoon’s session of the Senate.

Kirk and Janet Lanterman have given $500,000 to support the expansion of the North Dakota Heritage Center, and its “Settlement Era Exhibit” in the Inspiration, Opportunities and Innovation Gallery. Through this gift the Lantermans are honoring his grandfather, Will Lanterman, and his grandfather’s three brothers and sisters, who migrated to Grand Forks, Hillsboro and finally settled in Mandan. This is the largest personal or family gift to date given to the Heritage Center Expansion Campaign.

Kirk Lanterman was born in 1931 and was raised in Bismarck-Mandan area. His grandfather owned Morton State Bank in Mandan, and his father, Harold, was chairman of Cloverdale Foods. His mother, Helen, owned retail women’s clothing stores, The Rose Shop in Bismarck, Fargo and Grand Forks, and Helen’s in Mandan and in Dickinson. He graduated from Bismarck High School in 1950. Lanterman began his college education at the University of North Dakota, but left school to serve in the Korean War as a medic.

Following the war, he completed his accounting degree from the University of Washington and became a certified public accountant. He spent most of his working career with the cruise industry and particularly with the Holland America Line-Westours. Lanterman joined the company in 1970 as Vice President of Finance and, in the next 30 years, he advanced through the company's administrative ranks. He became President of Westours in 1979 and when Holland America Line consolidated its operations in 1983, Lanterman became President of the combined company, serving in that role until March 1997. He assumed chief executive responsibilities when the company was purchased by Carnival Cruise Lines (which is now Carnival Corporation) and was named chairman and CEO of the corporation in 1997. He became Chairman of Holland America Line in 1988, and served on its board of directors until 2007.

“Kirk Lanterman has a deep interest in North Dakota’s heritage and tourism and believes that an expanded North Dakota Heritage Center will draw more visitors to the state and send them off to other attractions,” says Virginia Nelsen, SHSND Foundation executive director. “He hopes his gift will encourage state lawmakers to authorize the expansion of the North Dakota Heritage Center and to inspire other individuals to honor their heritage through a personal gift.”