KU Today: What’s going on? Don’t miss these key fall events

Kansas University Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little addresses students during the 2012 Opening Convocation held Sunday, August 19, 2012 at the Lied Center.

From athletics to theater to speakers to music to community events, there is always — always — something going on at KU.

Of the bigger events that have been scheduled so far, here are a handful of don’t-miss dates for your fall 2015 calendar.

Sesquicentennial themes also are expected to be incorporated into other events throughout the year.

Aug. 23

Opening Convocation

7 to 8 p.m. at the Lied Center, 1600 Stewart Drive

Open to all KU students, faculty and staff, this tradition signifies the beginning of a new academic year. Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little and other speakers will discuss goals for the coming year.

Aug. 24

Fall classes begin.

Aug. 28

Marathon Reading of KU Common Book

8 a.m. to 9 p.m. in Nunemaker Center, 1506 Engel Road

The KU Common Book for 2015-16 is A

KU students, faculty and staff are invited to drop in and listen or participate in a marathon reading of KU’s 2015 Common Book, “A Farewell to Arms,” by Ernest Hemingway. To sign up for a time to read, and for a full list of Hawk Week events, visit firstyear.ku.edu.

Sept. 5

First home football game vs. South Dakota State University

11 a.m. at Memorial Stadium

The teams are never big-dogs but the atmosphere is guaranteed festive at the KU football team’s home opener. This year the Jayhawks and new coach David Beaty kick things off against South Dakota State. For a full schedule and comprehensive KU football coverage, visit kusports.com.

Sept. 16

Rick Perlstein lecture

7:30 p.m. at Woodruff Auditorium in the Kansas Union, 1301 Jayhawk Blvd

Rick Perlstein, New York Times best-selling author and historian of conservatism, will kick off the Hall Center for the Humanities 2015-2016 lecture series with his talk, “The Invisible Bridge: From Nixon to Reagan to Palin and Beyond.” “A Conversation with Rick Perlstein” is planned at 10 a.m. Sept. 17 at the Hall Center. For the full Hall Center schedule, visit hallcenter.ku.edu.

Sept. 26

KU Symphony Orchestra with guest Benjamin Beilman, violin

7:30 p.m. at the Lied Center

Part of this year’s Lied Center Concert Series, Beilman will perform Camille Saint-Saëns’ “Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor, Op. 61” with the orchestra, the KU School of Music’s “premier orchestral organization.” The orchestra will also present Hector Berlioz’s “Symphonie Fantastique.” Find a full Lied Center schedule online at lied.ku.edu.

Oct. 2


7:30 p.m. at the Lied Center

In celebration of KU’s 150th anniversary, the Lied Center is bringing in who else but Kansas as part of its Lied Center Concert Series 2015-2016 lineup. The band, founded in Topeka in 1969, is most famous for hits “Dust in the Wind” and the iconic “Carry on Wayward Son.”

Oct. 8

Symposium featuring Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State

5:30 p.m. at The Commons in Spooner Hall, 1340 Jayhawk Blvd

A highlight of KU’s The Commons fall programs, the symposium, “Protecting the Vote: Dialogues on Citizenship, Elections, and the Franchise,” will examine election law conflicts and politics in America, 50 years after the passage and ratification of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Kobach, historians, political scientists and scholars will speak at the event, sponsored by KU’s Langston Hughes Center, Department of Political Science, Department of African and African-American Studies and School of Public Affairs and Administration.

Oct. 25-31


Members of the Kansas University cheer squad do backflips down Massachusetts Street during the 2014 Kansas University Homecoming Parade, Friday, Sept. 26 2014 in downtown Lawrence.

KU’s homecoming week festivities culminate with the KU-Oklahoma football game, time TBA, Oct. 31 at Memorial Stadium. This year’s Homecoming theme — only fitting for a sesquicentennial year — is “Ghosts of Jayhawks Past.” Watch kualumni.org for more events to be announced.

Nov. 4

First men’s basketball home game vs. Pittsburg State University

time TBA, Allen Fieldhouse

The Jayhawks and coach Bill Self start their 2015-2016 season with an exhibition game against Pitt State. Find the team’s full schedule and complete coverage online at kusports.com.

Nov. 11

KU Jazz Ensemble I with guest Sean Jones, trumpet

7:30 p.m. at the Lied Center

Jones — “trumpeter, educator and activist” who chairs the brass department at Berklee School of Music — will join KU’s award-winning jazz ensemble in this Lied Center Concert Series event.

Nov. 25

McCollum Hall demolition

Daisy Hill

McCollum Hall on the campus of Kansas University, pictured on July 2, 2015.

“The end” for McCollum Hall is set for 7 a.m. KU expects to release additional details and possible detour information later. Nov. 25, a Wednesday, is the first day of Thanksgiving break.

Nov. 28

KU vs. Kansas State University football game

time TBD, Memorial Stadium

The annual “Sunflower Showdown” between KU and in-state rival K-State is also the Jayhawks’ last home football game of the year.

Dec. 6

KU Holiday Vespers

2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Lied Center

This popular holiday concert presented by the KU School of Music is known for sell-out crowds. If you don’t get a ticket, KU plans to live-stream the shows online. See music.ku.edu for more information.

Dec. 10

Last day of fall classes.

Dec. 18

Last day of finals.