The weather cooled off this week just in time for activities to start heating up at the local universities that mean so much to Lawrence and Douglas County.
The return of students to Kansas University, Haskell Indian Nations University and Baker University is an annual ritual for local residents and also a good reminder of how much energy these schools and their students bring to the community.
Sunday was “move-in” day at KU residence halls, a day marked by increased traffic both on local streets and in local stores, where students and parents are stocking up on supplies. KU students will have three days to settle in and get acquainted with the KU campus and traditions before classes start on Thursday.
Haskell students also arrived on campus Sunday and received an official welcome from Breaking Camp, a local ministry seeking to serve the American Indian population. Jason and Amy Metz led the effort, which included a free dinner and school supply giveaway, for the second year. It’s easy for the arrival of 700 students at Haskell to be overlooked amid the much larger KU influx, and it’s nice to see local residents making a special effort to reach out to Haskell students.
Baker University in Baldwin City will welcome its students back to campus next Sunday.
The start of the new semester marks not only the beginning of classes, but also the start of a new season of activities that enliven the community. The Lied Center will open its season with a free concert Friday night, and many student performances will be scheduled later in the semester. KU will open its football season on Sept. 4, drawing thousands of visitors to Lawrence.
Throughout the year, the universities are centers of activity that provide entertainment and enrichment opportunities for local residents — not to mention the jobs and economic benefits that come with those schools.
The beginning of the fall semester is an exciting time both for students and for the community. We welcome all the students at Haskell, Baker and KU and offer our best wishes for a successful school year.