Community members will get a chance to welcome back students to the University ofNebraska at Kearney campus at the annual Blue and Gold Welcome Week, August 23 through Sept. 7.
The 16-day event isdesigned to help students become familiar with the UNK campus before classesbegin, 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 To UNKand Beyond.
Students begin movinginto residence halls Friday and classes start Aug. 26.
Blue and Gold WelcomeWeek kicks off with the Blue and Gold Community Showcase, the annual welcomefestival where more than 200 businesses and campus organizations set up booths.Live entertainment, food and product giveaways highlight the showcase, which isfrom 5 to 8 p.m. Friday in the center of campus.
The showcase includesa 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.
"Our Blue and GoldShowcase celebration is a great way to introduce new and returning students tocampus," said Chandra Daffer, First Year Program assistant director. "It givesthem an opportunity to become engaged, find organizations they can becomeinvolved with and socialize in a fun, laid back atmosphere."
Another popularWelcome Week event open to the public is Destination Downtown from 8 to 10 p.m.on Aug. 29. Hosted in Downtown Kearney: The Bricks, the gathering includesprizes, free food, student discounts at businesses, an eating contest and livemusic from Kearney-based band The Talbott Brothers.
Buses will run fromthe Nebraskan Student Union and University Residence South to downtown and backuntil 11 p.m. forDestination Downtown.
Strong communityinvolvement and participation from area businesses is key to making Blue andGold Welcome Week events successful, Daffer said.
"We have so manywonderful community partnerships. The businesses and people involved in ouractivities are able to give students a positive first impression of ourcommunity," she said. "Their involvement really sets the tone by showingstudents how welcoming Kearney is."Additional Blue and Gold Welcome Week events open to the publicinclude:Thursday, Aug. 22
3 p.m. – UNK Volleyball Blue/WhiteScrimmage, UNK Health and Sports Center.Friday, Aug. 23
7 to 7:30 p.m. – Pride of the Plainsmarching band exhibition at Foster Field, including the 2013 pregame andseason-opening halftime shows.Saturday, Aug. 24
8 to 10 p.m. – Runza Lopers Under TheLights at Foster Field. Fans can get autographs from Loper coaches and athletes,who will host interactive games for kids. Free food, music and chances to winprizes are among the highlights.Tuesday, Sept. 3
6:30 p.m. – Soccer Blue & GoldScrimmage at Foster Field.Thursday, Sept. 5
6 p.m. – UNK football vs. WashburnUniversity. The Lopers host their Pack the House event when they open theseason under the lights against a new conference rival.Friday, Sept. 6
Noon – UNK volleyball vs. WilliamJewell.
7 p.m. – UNK cross country LoperTime Trial at Meadowlark Hills Golf Course.
8 p.m. – UNK volleyball vs ChadronState.Saturday, Sept. 7
Noon – UNK volleyball vs BlackHills State
6 p.m. – UNK volleyball vs SouthDakota School of Mines and Technology