Blue Gold events welcome students back to campus

BLue Gold Welcome LogoBy SARA GIBONEY
UNK Communications

KEARNEY – The University of Nebraska at Kearney’s annual Blue Gold Welcome Week features events to kick off the new school year.

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 Blue & Gold Together.

Blue Gold Welcome Week begins Friday (Aug. 18), when students move into residence halls. Classes start Monday (Aug. 21).

“Blue Gold Welcome is important for all of our students because it is the official welcome to our campus and our community,” said Brette Ensz, assistant director of the First Year Program. “More importantly, it is essential for our first year students because this is the weekend that lays the foundation for their collegiate success.

“It is a chance for students to establish a sense of belonging and Loper pride, while also learning about the academic and social expectations of the collegiate life.”

The Blue Gold Community Showcase, the annual welcome festival where more than 200 businesses and campus organizations set up booths, is from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday. Live entertainment, food and product giveaways highlight the showcase. 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. on the Campus Greens.

On Aug. 24 students and the public are invited to Destination Downtown from 7 to 11 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 has partnered with 24th Street Night Market. Area businesses will participate in Destination Downtown by having tables or offering food, discounts, prizes or special events.

Shuttles will run from the College of Education and Nebraskan Student Union to downtown and back until 11 p.m. for Destination Downtown, which is sponsored by the First Year Program.

Other events during welcome week include a marching band exhibition, Lopers Under the Lights, Loper Rock the Night Dance, Party in the Park and a welcome back barbecue.

Blue Gold ShowcaseBlue Gold Welcome Week Schedule

Friday, Aug. 18
7 a.m. – Dining Services Open
8 a.m. – Students Move In, Residence Halls Open
9 a.m. – Faculty / Staff welcome back convocation (Fine Arts Building)
11 a.m. – Sorority Bid Day (University Residence South)
11:30 a.m. – Residence Halls Parent/Family Welcome
1:30 p.m. – Multicultural Family Welcome (Office of Multicultural Affairs)
3:15 p.m. – Family Orientation (Copeland Hall 142)
3:45 p.m. – New Students: Class of the Eclipse Parade (Bell Tower)
4 p.m. – New Students: Welcome Convocation (Health & Sports Center)
5 to 8 p.m. – Blue/Gold Showcase (Campus Greens)
5:30 p.m. – Chancellor’s Picnic (Campus Greens)
7 p.m. – Marching Band Exhibition Performance (Foster Field)
7:45 p.m. – First Year Commuter Meeting (Student Union, Cedar Room)
7:45 p.m. – First Residence Hall Floor Meetings
9 p.m. – Playfair (Foster Field)
10:30 p.m. – New Students: Donut Miss This Event (Foster Field)

Saturday, Aug. 19
8:45 a.m. – New Students: Breakfast and Class Picture (Foster Field)
9:30 a.m. – New Students: Life as a Loper Orientation (Student Union, Ponderosa)
11:30 a.m. – New Students: Conversations with Faculty (Campus Greens)
5 p.m. – Loper Football Scrimmage, Futures Game (Foster Field)
5:30 to 7 p.m. – Barbeque (Holy Cross Campus Ministry)
7 to 8 p.m. – Paint the Road Blue (west of Health and Sports Center)
8 to 9:30 p.m. – Lopers Under the Lights with UNK Athletics (Foster Field)
9:30 p.m. – Loper Rock the Night dance (Student Union Courtyard)

Sunday, August 20
11 a.m. – Soccer exhibition vs Hastings College (Cope Stadium)
1 p.m. – Campus Class Roam guided tours (Student Union Atrium)
2 p.m. – PREclipse Talks (Miriam Drake Theatre)
2 to 4 p.m. – Transfer Orientation (Student Union Cedar Room)
5 to 8 p.m. – Party in the Park with Campus Recreation, Fraternity and Sorority Life: food, sand volleyball, big splash competition (6:15 pm) and other games. (Harmon Park)
6 p.m. – SUNday Sounds at MONA (Museum of Nebraska Art)
7 p.m. – Astronomer Tabetha Boyajian Pre-Eclipse Talk (Merryman Performing Arts Center)

Monday, Aug. 21
First Day of Classes
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Great American Eclipse Lunch and Watch Party (Foster Field)
3 p.m. – Yard Games (Newman Center)
5 to 6 p.m. – Kearney Symphony Orchestra Auditions (Fine Arts
7 to 10 p.m. – Peer Health Back to School Bash: Inflatables, yard games, food and music. (Campus Greens)

Tuesday, Aug. 22
6 p.m. – Christian Student Fellowship Free BBQ (CSF House)

Wednesday, Aug. 23
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Student Employment Fair (Student Union, Ponderosa)
5:30 p.m. – Newman Center Grill Out and Mass (Newman Center)
7 p.m. – Sand Volleyball and 9 Square (Harmon Park)
7:30 to 9 p.m. – Welcome Bonfire with Holy Cross Campus Ministry (1814 W. 24th St.)
9:30 p.m. – Community Assembly Night (Residence Halls)

Destination DowntownThursday, Aug. 24
2:30 p.m. – Soccer Blue/Gold Scrimmage (Cope Stadium)
5:30 pm – Welcome Back BBQ with Office of Multicultural Affairs: yard games, soccer, volleyball, food. (Harmon Park)
7 to 11 pm – Destination Downtown: Food trucks, vendors, concert with Lemon Fresh Day. (Downtown Kearney on the Bricks)

Friday, Aug. 25
9 p.m. to Midnight – Ice Skating (Viaero Center)
9 p.m. – Meet S’More Friends (Newman Center)

Saturday, Aug. 26
9 p.m. – LPAC Outdoor Movie (South Side of Copeland Hall)
11:30 a.m. – Soccer scrimmage vs Gretna 99s Club Team (Cope Stadium)

Sunday, Aug. 27
5 pm – #YouAreWelcomeHere@UNK: Food truck, yard games and music (Harmon Park, Sertoma Shelter)

Monday, Aug. 28
1 p.m. – Root Beer Float Party with Campus Ministries (Cope Fountain)
7 p.m. – Mud Tug 2017 (Multi-purpose Practice Fields, south of Lot 29 on 15th Ave)

Tuesday, Aug. 29
4 p.m. – Trike Bowl (Cope Fountain Area)
6 p.m. – Chemistry Club picnic (Harmon Park)

Wednesday, Aug. 30
11 am to 2 pm – Student Organization Fair (Campus Greens)
4 to 5 p.m. – Cooking Hacks with Chef Alvin (Student Union)
7 pm & 9 pm – Sexual Assault Awareness Edutainment: Hypnosis and magic are used in this interactive presentation to raise awareness about sexual assault. (Student Union Ponderosa Room)

Thursday, Aug. 31
7 p.m. – Football vs Missouri Western (Cope Stadium)
5:30pm – Student Tailgate (Foster Field)


Writer: Sara Giboney, 308.865.8529,
Source: Brette Ensz, 308.865.8291,