KEARNEY – The University of Nebraska at Kearney kicks off its school year with the annual Blue and Gold Welcome Week, which features events that begin Friday.
The two-week event is designed to help students become familiar with the UNK campus before classes begin, as well as give the public a chance to interact with students, faculty, staff and alumni through a variety of activities. This year’s theme is Welcome to Paradise.
“There is a lot of research that discusses the success of students, particularly new students, and their connection to campus,” said Tim Danube, associate director of the Nebraskan Student Union. “The more students feel part of the college family, the more likely they will have a fulfilling college experience.
“Blue and Gold is our first opportunity to make students feel part of the campus family.”
Students begin moving into residence halls Friday. Classes start Aug. 24.
Festivities begin with Blue and Gold Community Showcase, the annual welcome festival where more than 200 businesses and campus organizations set up booths. Live entertainment, food and product giveaways highlight the showcase, which is from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday in the center of campus.
“We really value the relationship between UNK and the community. The Showcase is something that combines not only the new students and their families, but also the community, the alumni and all the different businesses and services represented. It’s a wonderful event for the campus and community,” Danube said.
The showcase includes a free picnic hosted by Chancellor Doug Kristensen. The event is for students, faculty and community members from 5:30 to 7 p.m. near Cope Memorial Fountain.
This year’s Welcome Week includes a performance by comedian Sammy Obeid. He is best known for his 1,001-day streak of consecutive performances. It began Dec. 26, 2010, and ended Sept. 21, 2013, breaking the world record of 731 days. Obeid will perform at 8 p.m. Sunday in the Nebraskan Student Union Ponderosa Room.
On Aug. 27 students and the public are invited to Destination Downtown from 8 to 10 p.m. Hosted in Downtown Kearney: The Bricks, the event includes prizes, free food, student discounts at businesses, an eating contest and other activities.
Destination Downtown will feature the Talbott Brothers, a rock band featuring brothers Nick and Tyler Talbott from Imperial. Buses will run from the Nebraskan Student Union and University Residence South to downtown and back until 11 p.m. for Destination Downtown.
Welcome Week will feature new events by the UNK Outdoor Adventure Program. Students can participate in a movie night at the Wellness Center Climbing Wall, an event at Cottonmill Park that features kayaking, canoeing and stand-up paddle boarding and Party in the Park, which will feature sand volleyball and games at Harmon Park.
“Blue and Gold is a really great transition for students when they come to school because they have so much going on,” said Brette Ensz, assistant director of the First Year Program. “The first week and first weekend of college can be a challenge. We organize Blue and Gold to give our first-year students an easy transition, to meet people and to have fun. It’s an orientation to their next four years. It allows them to meet great friends and faculty.”
Blue and Gold Welcome Week Highlights
Friday, Aug. 21
8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. – Residence Halls Open for New Student Move In
3 p.m. p.m. – Family Orientation (Ponderosa Room)
4 p.m. – Welcome Convocation: Louie’s Luau (Health & Sports Center)
5 to 8 p.m. – Blue and Gold Showcase (Campus Greens)
5:30 to 7 p.m. – Chancellor’s Picnic (Campus Greens)
7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. – Marching Band Exhibition (Foster Field)
8:45 to 10:15 p.m. – Playfair (Foster Field)
10:15 p.m. – Loper Rock the Night dance (Student Union Courtyard)
Saturday, Aug. 22
4 p.m. – Loper Fan Appreciation Night Tailgating (Foster Field)
5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. – Loper Bingo (Louie’s Diner in URS)
5 p.m. – UNK Football Scrimmage (Foster Field)
7:30 to 9 p.m. – Loper Fan Appreciation Continues: Games, autographs, photos, free ice cream (Foster Field)
Sunday, Aug. 23
10 a.m. – Women’s soccer exhibition vs Hastings College (Foster Field)
5 p.m. to 7 p.m. – Party in the Park: BBQ, sand volleyball, big splash competition, other games (Harmon Park)
8 p.m. – Comedian Sammy Obeid (Ponderosa Room)
Monday, Aug. 24
First day of classes
Thursday, Aug. 27
5 p.m. – Office of Multicultural Affairs, Welcome Back BBQ (Harmon Park)
8 to 10 p.m. – Destination Downtown (Downtown Kearney on The Bricks)
Friday, Aug. 28
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Open Climb and Climbing Workshop (Wellness Center Climbing Wall)
10 p.m. to Close – Big Apple Fun Night (Big Apple Fun Center)
Dusk – LPAC Outdoor Movie (South side, Copeland Hall)
Saturday, Aug. 29
TBD – Fun at Cottonmill Park: Disc golf, kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding
TBD – Movie Night at the Wall (Wellness Center Climbing Wall)
Sunday, Aug. 30
2 p.m. to Close – Big Apple Fun Night (Big Apple Fun Center)
Monday, Aug. 31
7 p.m. Mud Tug 2014 – Multipurpose Practice Fields (two lots south of Lot 29 on 15th Ave)
Wednesday, Sept. 2
11 am to 2 p.m. – Student Organization Fair (Campus Greens)
Thursday, Sept. 3
5:30 p.m. – Student Tailgate prior to UNK Football Game (Foster Field)
7 p.m. – Football vs Northwest Missouri State (Foster Field)
Source: Tim Danube, 308.865.8523, firstname.lastname@example.org
Writer: Sara Giboney, 308.865.8529, email@example.com