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Foundation Donors Step in to Update Conq Corral

Published June 26, 2018

By Scott Edger

“This should be a nice place for them to go or hang out between classes, so when it was brought to our attention we took the opportunity.”

– David Weece, owner, Ashley Furniture HomeStore & DC3 alum

When students return to the Dodge City Community College campus in August, those looking to take a break from their studies will have an updated place to unwind thanks to the enthusiastic response of two generous DC3 alumni.

When board members of the DC3 Foundation were on campus just a couple weeks ago, some pointed out that the Conq Corral snack bar had changed very little since their time as students some 30 years ago.

They remembered how important downtime – away from studying, away from the dorms, away from the grind of student life – was for their own college career, and observed that the lamentable condition of much of the snack bar needed to change for the benefit of future Conqs.

Sympathetic hearts set out to quickly remedy the archaic environment, and with a few persuasive phone calls the Foundation had secured donations for a severely needed upgrade to what should be a central campus retreat.

Ashley Furniture HomeStore owner David Weece, John Wentling, owner of G&G Car and Truck Supercenters, promptly responded to the call to improve the dilapidated snack bar – agreeing in the matter of an afternoon to donate brand new furniture, electronics and tech upgrades, and funds to refurbish the gaming tables and walls.

Pictured left to right: Dr. Harold Nolte, DC3 president; John Wentling, owner G&G Car and Truck Supercenters; David Weece, owner Ashley Furniture HomeStore; and Christina Haselhorst, DC3 Foundation director
Employees of Ashley Furniture HomeStore carrying at table onto campus

“We are grateful to have Foundation donors who are so responsive to the needs of students,” Christina Haselhorst, DC3 Foundation director, said as a half dozen Ashley Furniture workers hauled in new dining tables, recliners, electronics, and an entertainment center. “It’s so beneficial for students to have a place to meet their friends and just relax.”

The update came none too soon for the Conq Corral – even DC3 president Dr. Harold Nolte joked that much of the furniture had been in style when he went through college.

Weece and Wentling are both DC3 alumni and their donations ultimately came down to a desire to afford current and future students the opportunity to comfortably unwind and disconnect from the daily rigors of college life in a contemporary setting.

“The college experience is as important as the education,” Wentling said. “If they don’t have somewhere to have great times and make great friends and build those relationships, those students might not come back for another year. It’s an important part of college, so we are happy to do this.”
“Technology is a big deal for these kids,” Wentling said. “Staying on top of technology is going to bring new students in.”

Weece said the efforts are a good demonstration of how the Foundation can impact the student experience directly.

“We saw that need to freshen up the place for the kids,” Weece said. “This should be a nice place for them to go or hang out between classes, so when it was brought to our attention we took the opportunity.”

New leather recliners facing an entertainment center with LCD television in the recreation area of the Conq Corral
New stools and tables in the recreation area of the Conq Corral
New tables in the dining area of the Conq Corral

Aside from the new furnishings and entertainment, the Corral itself has been given a bit of a makeover. The floor has been stripped and polished and the old wood paneling is gone – replaced by smooth white walls patiently awaiting treatment.

Jennifer Nolan, associate professor of art, is arranging to have DC3 art students cover the new walls with a mural. Work should begin in August.

For more information about the Dodge City Community College Foundation contact Christina Haselhorst at 620-225-9541 or chaselhorst@dc3.edu.