CDL Truck

Past Initiatives

Barton Food Pantry

Children from the CDCOn November 1, 2017 Patrick Busch, Project Director for Central Kansas Upward Bound, presented a proposal to the Barton Community College Foundation Board of Directors requesting funds to establish a food pantry. The pantry provides food to lower the instances of food insecurity experienced for various reasons by member of the campus community, in particular the students.

The board agreed to donate the start-up funds required to get this initiative in place before the start of the Thanksgiving and Christmas break periods. Patrick also applied for and received additional funds from the Walmart Foundation and the Golden Belt Community Foundation.

The goal of the pantry, located in an area of library, is to provide access to both non-perishable and perishable foods and increase the number of healthier food options available for students. Many of the out-of-state students who study at Barton do not have access to transportation, and on days when the cafeteria is closed, have no food source except vending machines. Besides normal closings over all extended holidays the cafeteria closes at 6 pm and doesn’t reopen until 9 am or 11 am on weekends.

The food pantry has partnered with both the Kansas Food Bank in Wichita (which allows them to purchase food at a greatly reduced price) and also with the Great Bend Food Bank (which allows them to accept food items at no cost). It will be open to all Barton students, faculty, and staff and no qualifying or income information will be required to have the benefit of its use.

If anyone wishes to donate to the food bank, cash, perishable and non-perishable foods, freezers, refrigerators, shelving and locally grown or produced food items are appreciated and welcome. If you would like more information or wish to donate, contact Patrick Busch at (620) 786-1182 or e-mail

The Gift of Music and the Steinway Refurbishing Project 

Steinway being packed up to get refurbishedThe Barton Community College Music Department received an early Christmas present from a loyal and beloved benefactor. The Dorothy M. Morrison Foundation awarded a grant to the Barton Foundation for the purpose of refurbishing the Steinway grand piano in the Morrison Chapel as well as the purchase of nine additional pianos to be used by music instructors and in music labs; one 7-foot Acoustic Grand for the stage of the Fine Arts Auditorium; and one Yamaha Hybrid Grand for performances held in the Shafer Gallery. View pictures on Flickr of the Steinway project.

“How is it that music can, without words, evoke our laughter, or fears, our fondest dreams?” “The true magic of music is that it connects people – It carries a message and the musicians are the messengers”

Karole Erikson, Barton piano instructor, is just one of those messengers and she states “The Barton Music Department is thrilled beyond their highest dreams thanks to the Barton Piano Project funded by the Dorothy M. Morrison Foundation through the Barton Foundation.

The renovations to the 9-foot Steinway Grand Piano will bring it back to sounding and looking like a brand new Steinway by Fall 2018.

All of the other new pianos in the Barton Fine Arts Building affect a wide range of people in a variety of ways. From the piano classes the music majors and minors need for their degrees to the piano classes for Barton students just wanting to learn more about music, these new pianos will assist student learning through new recording advancements and midi capabilities.

Ultimately, both audiences and performers at future Barton music events, will notice the positive effects of the new pianos with their fresh, full and expressive timbres.

The Foundation is grateful and blessed for the many extraordinary gifts they receive, but it is hard to imagine any gift that could possibly have such far reaching outcomes as this one. The piano project will benefit not only the faculty and staff at Barton but members of the communities we serve who attend any vocal or instrumental event at Barton.

Foundation Provided Lead Gift for Welding Lab

A standing-room-only crowd from the community, campus and area high schools welcomed Barton’s new welding lab January 28, 2016 for a Great Bend Chamber of Commerce Coffee and Ribbon Cutting. College President Dr. Carl Heilman welcomed the crowd of about 200. He noted that financial, consulting and equipment support from Murphy Family Enterprises, Inc., the Great Bend office of AirGas, Inc., and Scott’s Welding were crucial to creation of the state-of-the art lab. Heilman said that community business leaders asked for a welding program several years ago. The result is a full first class of 23 students. After just one semester, students will receive a nationally recognized certificate making them instantly employable, he noted.

The Foundation exists to support the college and to prudently manage gifts from the community for the benefit of the college and students. Ultimately these gifts improve the economic and cultural vitality of the region. The Foundation is proud to help with this important initiative.

Foundation Presents McKown-Funded “Winged Aspiration” to College

More than 50 individuals attended the October 13 unveiling of “Winged Aspiration,” a dramatic outdoor sculpture in the circle driveway fronting Barton’s Fine Arts Building and the Shafer Gallery. Bill McKown was a true friend of the arts at Barton Community College. He died in March 2014, but his legacy lives on through numerous art-related improvements, including “Winged Aspiration”, made on the Barton campus as a result of a generous bequest from his estate. Other campus projects provided by the Bill J. McKown Memorial Fund include the educational kiosk in the gallery on how to build a bronze horse, equipment for the ceramics department, and furnishings and computers for the art department. “Winged Aspiration” is a large reproduction of a smaller wax mold created by Gus Shafer for a sculpture that was never cast. In the late 1970s, L. E. “Gus” Shafer produced a series of images in wood and wax as models for a monument to hope and the future. Different from his western art images, these elegant abstract forms pull the eye towards the sky and infinite possibilities. Ellinwood sculptor Aaron McCaffery fabricated the 14-foot tall bronze rendition of Shafer’s piece, weighing 900 pounds. Great Bend sculptor Chet Cale designed the base of limestone blocks. See a 360-degree view of the sculpture and a video of the short ceremony on the Foundation YouTube playlist