‘A new campus’ welcomes 135th class to Hastings College

When students left the Hastings College campus in May, Steinhart Plaza, where 9th Street cut through campus, and the Jackson Dinsdale Art Center were muddy construction zones—and a cafeteria and dining refresh began the Monday after commencement.

“It’s been a busy summer at Hastings College,” said President Don Jackson. “The opening of the Jackson Dinsdale Art Center on August 20 was an incredible moment for the College. We also completed the first phase of Steinhart Plaza’s development and changes at the dining hall, coffee shop and Crimson Club, a new restaurant-style dining option in the student union. Those upgrades are visible to students every day and combine to create an even better student experience on campus.”

Senior Nick Musgrave, who spent the summer in Washington, D.C., interning for a senator from his home state of West Virginia, said he was amazed upon his return to campus.

“When I left, the plaza was a muddy quagmire, and the art center was nowhere near finished. When I came back, seeing the Jackson Dinsdale Art Center completed and amazing, and the Steinhart Plaza all green and tying the campus together, it feels like a new campus and a fresh place. I’m excited to start the new year.”

While the nearly 360 new first year and transfer students and all returning students will crisscross the bike-friendly plaza daily and spend time either in classes or the gallery at the JDAC, upgrading dining spaces in Hazelrigg Student Union was one of the top requests by returning students.

“It had been some time since our dining hall was refreshed, and with a new food vendor coming to campus, it was the perfect opportunity to make some changes,” said Dan Peters, associate vice president of Student Life.

The new vendor, Fresh Ideas, helped plan and organize new food service stations, drink stations, tables, chairs and booths in the main cafeteria. New stations include spaces where food is prepared to order right in front of students. The company also emphasizes using fresh ingredients, and offering new, healthy and flavorful twists on classic dishes.

A grill area was converted from an add-on to the cafeteria into the Crimson Club, a restaurant-style eatery that rotates themes monthly. Over the summer, students voted and chose gourmet burritos to be the first items featured in the dining space, which includes booths, tables and a large countertop with charging stations that opens into the lobby of the student union.

Also in the lobby area, the Bronco Blend coffee shop was upgraded to serve Starbucks, including hot and iced coffee and espresso drinks, and a wide assortment of smoothies.

“Our partnership with Fresh Ideas has resulted in a number of changes students were looking for, and we couldn’t be more excited as we begin the year,” Peters said. “Their team, including Chef Eron Baker, have changed the face of dining at Hastings College.”

Hastings College is a private, four-year institution located in Hastings, Nebraska, that focuses on student academic and extracurricular achievement. With 64 majors and 15 pre-professional programs, Hastings College has been named among “Great Schools, Great Prices” by U.S. News & World Report and a “Best in the Midwest” by The Princeton Review. For more, go to hastings.edu.

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