Blue and Gold Welcome Week Set for August 20-29 at UNK

Brandon Benitz
assistant to the dean of Student Life, 308.865.1619

UNK- The annual University of Nebraska at Kearney Blue and Gold Welcome Week is scheduled Aug. 20-29 to welcome students to the campus and community.

“Both UNK’s graduation and student persistence rates are significantly higher than our peer institutions,” said Brandon Benitz, assistant to the dean of Student Life. He attributes part of those numbers to activities such as Blue and Gold Welcome Week that are designed to help students know the campus and community.

Blue and Gold Week events will begin with the New Student Welcome Convocation at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 20, at the Health and Sports Center. UNK Chancellor Doug Kristensen, along with other key administrators, faculty and upper-class students will speak to incoming freshmen and their parents about how students can get the most out of their UNK experience. That afternoon, students will have an opportunity to meet UNK alumni, peer mentors and faculty at the Loper Family Picnic, scheduled from 5-6:30 p.m. at the Cope Memorial Fountain.

“Within the first 12 hours that they set foot on the UNK campus,” Benitz said, “students will have a great start to their academic career by getting to know a faculty member, an upper-class peer mentor and a small group of fellow students in their major area.”

Academic Orientation will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 21, within the respective departments of the students’ majors. Students will meet again with faculty and peer mentors to discuss topics such as study habits, time management, and academic and personal services available on the UNK campus.

The campus and the community will gather for the traditional Blue and Gold Community Showcase and the Chancellor’s Picnic Friday afternoon. The showcase is set for 4-8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 21, on the campus green, and will feature more than 200 displays by local area businesses and organizations. The Chancellor’s Picnic, which is free and open to the public, will take place from 5-6:30 p.m. at the Cope Memorial Fountain that day.

On Saturday, Aug. 22, classroom buildings and many campus offices are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to assist students. The civic engagement, Lopers Care, will provide students an opportunity to give back to the Kearney community by volunteering with local organizations beginning at 11 a.m. and ending by 1 p.m.

The sixth annual Destination Downtown is set for 8-11 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27, on the Bricks in downtown Kearney. Live music, free food, student discounts, prizes, a caricature artist and the Ultimate Eating Contest will take place during the event. More than 7,000 UNK students and community members attend annually. Trolleys will run from two UNK locations, the Nebraskan Student Union and University Residence South, to the Bricks, throughout the evening.

NOTE: The full Blue and Gold Welcome Week Schedule of Events follows:

Thursday, Aug. 20
8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. – Residence halls open for move-in.
9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. – The Parent Zone. Parents and families are welcome to meet with UNK staff and Kearney community members.
10 a.m. – Meal plans active.
3:30 p.m. – New Student Welcome Convocation. Chancellor Kristensen, UNK administration, faculty and upper-class students will                 address new students.
4:30 p.m. – Find Your Team and Get Acquainted. New students will meet faculty and peer mentors.
4:30 p.m. – Parents: The Challenge for You and Your Student. Parents will learn financial, social, and academic challenges and                 expectations of their student.
5-6:30 p.m. – Loper Family Picnic.
6-6:30 p.m. – Pre-Game/Half-time Show.
8 p.m. – Residence hall meetings and activities.
9 p.m. – Blue and Gold Welcome Back Comedy Night featuring comedian Steve Hofstetter.

Friday, Aug. 21

8 a.m. – Meal plans active.
8 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Last Minute To-Dos. Selected UNK offices will be open to assist students.
10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Academic orientation.
Noon – Lunch with Your Team. Students will meet with faculty and peer mentors.
4-8 p.m. – Blue and Gold Community Showcase.
5-6:30 p.m. – Chancellor’s Picnic.
9 p.m. – Glow with the Flow Dance.

Saturday, Aug. 22

10 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Classroom buildings and offices open.
11 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Civic Engagement: Lopers Care. Students will have the opportunity to volunteer with a local organization.
1 p.m. – 5 p.m. – Romp at the Rec. Students can learn more about, and become involved with, intramural sports at UNK.
3 p.m. – Honors Program Get Acquainted–Get Together.
Dusk – Outdoor movie.

Sunday, Aug. 23

4-7 p.m. – UNK Splash Down. Students are invited to swim at the Harmon Park pool and play games.

Monday, Aug. 24

10 a.m. – 7 p.m. – KLPR Broadcast Live. Student campus radio, 91.3 FM KLPR, will take song requests while broadcasting live.

Tuesday, Aug. 25

4-7 p.m. – ‘Kearney’val! Inflatable games and carnival food will be offered.

Wednesday, Aug. 26

8-10 p.m. – Lopers Under the Lights. Meet the UNK sports teams, and enjoy free food, prizes and music.

Thursday, Aug. 27

6 p.m. – Women’s Soccer Kick-Off. The women’s soccer team will play their first-ever game against Wayne State College at Cope                 Stadium/Foster field.
8-11 p.m. – Destination Downtown. Live music, free food, student discounts, prizes, a caricature artist and the Ultimate Eating Contest         will take place during the event.

Friday and Saturday, Aug. 28 and 29

12:15 p.m. and 7 p.m. – UNK Volleyball-Fall Classic at the UNK Health and Sports Center.