The opening of fall semester at Kansas University always is an exciting time, but the arrival of a new chancellor on Mount Oread raises the sense of anticipation even higher this year.
The return of students attending KU, Haskell Indian Nations University and Baker University in Baldwin City has Douglas County hopping at this time of year. Classes at all three universities get under way this week, which means thousands of students have been arriving on campus and moving into university housing facilities.
Hasn’t there usually been a lull in Lawrence between the end of KU’s summer school and the beginning of the fall term? There may have been a little less traffic on local streets in the last week or two and a few more empty tables at local restaurants, but it didn’t last long. With so many students living in apartments with leases that run from Aug. 1 to July 31, it seems like the whole month of August is moving day in Lawrence.
Nonetheless, this weekend, the weekend when university scholarship halls and most residence halls open still is the moving day. Moving is elevated to high art with entire Daisy Hill parking lots designated as 20-minute loading zones. It’s “load ’em up and move ’em out” in reverse.
The bustle of this weekend is a good reminder of how important KU is to the vitality of Lawrence. From a strictly economic standpoint, hotels and restaurants are full and stores are packed with students and families buying last-minute supplies. From an activity standpoint, this is the beginning of a full school year of university-related arts, athletics and other events that local residents and out-of-town guests get to share.
New Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little has arrived in Lawrence along with the rest of the newcomers, and we hope she shares their excitement about being on the KU campus. It’s a great place, filled with tradition and opportunities.
Welcome to KU and Lawrence. We’re glad you’re here.