KEARNEY – Residence halls are filling up, professors are preparing their coursework and fall sports are just around the corner.
It’s the start of a new school year at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, which is celebrating with its annual Blue Gold Welcome Week.
The event, which is actually about two weeks long, serves as the official kickoff to the academic year for new and returning Lopers. Blue Gold Welcome gives incoming freshmen a chance to familiarize themselves with campus before classes begin and allows students, faculty and staff to interact with the community through a variety of activities.
“The arrival of students is always an exciting time at UNK, and we have a number of great events planned to get them acclimated to our campus and the Kearney community,” said Chancellor Doug Kristensen. “Blue Gold Week is one of our signature events and continues to connect our students, faculty and staff with tremendous support UNK gets from so many people.”
This year’s theme is Discover Blue and Gold, fitting for an event that introduces many students to university life and their Loper family.
Blue Gold Welcome begins Friday (Aug. 17), when most students move into the residence halls, and continues throughout the month.
The festivities kick into high gear right away, with a number of activities on opening day. The Class of 2022 Parade is 3:45 p.m. Friday on the east side of UNK’s Health and Sports Center, followed by Freshman Convocation inside the building. Fellow students, alumni, faculty and staff will cheer on the newest Lopers as they head to their first official event as UNK students. Parade spectators are encouraged to wear Loper gear and hold up signs.
Blue Gold Community Showcase, the annual welcome festival where more than 200 businesses and campus organizations set up booths, is 5-8 p.m. Friday on the Campus Greens near the Bell Tower. Live entertainment, food and product giveaways highlight the showcase, which also includes a free picnic hosted by Kristensen from 5:30-7 p.m.
UNK’s Pride of the Plains Marching Band will perform 7 p.m. Friday on Foster Field inside Ron and Carol Cope Stadium, followed by Playfair activities for new students from 9-10:30 p.m.
Saturday’s Lopers Rock the Night event (8-10 p.m.) features music from Lawnmower Dogs at Foster Field, and a Party in the Park (5-8 p.m.) and big splash competition (6:15 p.m.) are Sunday at Kearney’s Harmon Park.
On Aug. 23, UNK students and the public are invited to Destination Downtown from 7-11 p.m. Hosted by UNK’s First Year Program in Downtown Kearney: The Bricks, the event includes prizes, free food, student discounts at businesses, an eating contest, live music from Lemon Fresh Day and other activities.
UNK’s fall semester classes begin Monday (Aug. 20).
BLUE GOLD WELCOME SCHEDULE
Friday, Aug. 17
All day – Move-in day
3:45 p.m. – Class of 2022 Parade (East side of Health and Sports Center)
4 p.m. – Freshman Convocation (Health and Sports Center)
5 to 8 p.m. – Community Showcase and Chancellor’s Picnic (Campus Greens near Bell Tower)
7 p.m. – Marching band exhibition (Foster Field)
9 to 10:30 p.m. – Playfair (Foster Field)
Saturday, Aug. 18
8 to 10 p.m. – Lopers Rock the Night with snow cones and music from Lawnmower Dogs (Foster Field)
Sunday, Aug. 19
11 a.m. – UNK soccer scrimmage vs. Hastings College (Foster Field)
5 to 8 p.m. – Party in the Park with Campus Recreation and Greek Life (Harmon Park)
6:15 p.m. – Big splash competition (Harmon Park Pool)
Monday, Aug. 20
First day of fall classes
Tuesday, Aug. 21
9 to 10 p.m. – Community Assembly Night with barbecue, yard games and music (residence halls)
Thursday, Aug. 23
7 to 11 p.m. – Destination Downtown with food trucks, eating contest, vendors and live music from Lemon Fresh Day (Downtown Kearney, The Bricks)
5:30 to 7 p.m. – Welcome back barbecue, yard games, soccer, volleyball with Office of Multicultural Affairs (Harmon Park)
Friday, Aug. 24
9 p.m. – Ice skating (Viaero Center)
Saturday, Aug. 25
8 p.m. – Outdoor movie with Loper Programming Activities Council (south side of Copeland Hall)
Monday, Aug. 27
7 p.m. – Mud tug (practice fields, south of Lot 29 on 15th Avenue)
Thursday, Aug. 30
5:30 p.m. – Student tailgate party (Foster Field)
7 p.m. – UNK football vs. Missouri Southern State University (Foster Field)
Friday, Aug. 31
Noon – UNK volleyball vs. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (Health and Sports Center)
2:30 p.m. – UNK soccer vs. Newman University (Foster Field)
6 p.m. – UNK volleyball vs. Midwestern State (Health and Sports Center)
7 p.m. – UNK cross country, Loper Time Trials (Meadowlark Hills Golf Course in Kearney)