Brandon Benitz
assistant to the dean of Student Life, 308.865.1619

Blue and Gold Welcome Week for the University of Nebraska Kearney campus  is just around the corner as fall classes begin next month. 

Activities begin Friday, Aug. 24, at 8 a.m. when the residence halls open for move-in. The Parent Zone, the 2007 UNK Volleyball Fall Classic and First Time College Parents 101 are among the events going on that day.

In addition to activities for students and their families, are several that are also open to the Kearney community, including the Blue and Gold Welcome Showcase and the Chancellor’s Picnic.

The Blue and Gold Welcome Showcase begins at 4 p.m. and wraps up around 8 p.m. More than 200 local businesses and campus organizations will display what they have to offer, as well as hand out free items and give prizes.

The Chancellor’s Picnic, hosted by UNK Chancellor Doug Kristensen, is set for 5-6:30 p.m. and is expected to draw nearly 3,500 people. The picnic is free and open to the public. 

Saturday, Aug. 25, community members can enjoy watching Spiderman 3 in the Stout/Mantor Courtyard at dusk.

For students, Campus and Academic Life Orientation will be held on Sunday, Aug. 26. “This is an essential piece of a student’s UNK orientation as these programs will get students started on the right foot by taking them through everything they will need to know to prepare them for their college experience,” said Brandon Benitz, assistant to the dean of Student Life.

For mid-week entertainment the campus and community members can join their favorite Loper athletes from 8 – 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 29, at the second annual Lopers Under the Lights, hosted at Cope Stadium by UNK athletics.

The event is an opportunity for the campus and community to support the Lopers, meet the teams, enjoy free food and great music, and look for chances to win prizes. 

To round out Blue and Gold Welcome Week, the fourth year of Destination Downtown is set for 8 – 11 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 30. The event is designed to make it possible for students and the community to explore downtown and all it has to offer by making it possible to shop the stores after hours. Not only are the downtown merchants open for business, but there will be giveaways, student discounts, free food, music, caricature artists, street performers, an eating contest and other activities.

Benitz said, “For Kearney, not only is Destination Downtown a great way to promote local merchants, it is also a way to introduce the UNK community to downtown Kearney, much like the Blue and Gold Showcase is a great way to introduce the Kearney community to UNK.”