Community Invited to Help UNC Usher in New Academic Year

procession at convocation

Faculty members lead the procession into UNC's Cranford Park during the 2011 Fall Convocation.

The community is invited to join the University of Northern Colorado in welcoming new and returning students during a traditional celebration Friday, Aug. 24, that concludes with food and entertainment.

The event kicks off with the school's Fall Convocation, 4:30-5:30 p.m. in Cranford Park, north of Gunter Hall, intersection of 10th Avenue and Cranford Plaza. The ceremony recognizes the beginning of students' academic careers, much like commencement recognizes their completion, and allows students to learn about academic and UNC traditions as they arrive.

Speakers will include UNC President Kay Norton, Acting Provost Robbyn Wacker, Professor of Biology Stephen Mackessy (winner of the 2012 M. Lucile Harrison Award, UNC's top faculty honor), and Greeley Mayor Tom Norton.

Following the ceremony, a student pep band from Pride of the Rockies will lead a procession to Turner Green on West Campus, where the popular Taste of UNC and Bear Fest will be held through 7 p.m.

The taste features a variety of finger foods prepared by chefs in UNC Dining Services. Community members, UNC faculty and staff and anyone else without a student meal plan can purchase a $5 ticket to sample the variety of food.

Bear Fest, which is free, includes live music and performances, and carnival and inflatable games.

Free parking for the day's events will be available in UNC parking lots and streets near the event sites.

In case of inclement weather, the convocation will be canceled and A Taste of UNC will be moved to nearby Holmes Dining Hall. If the weather looks threatening the day of the event, status updates will be provided at

Convocation, a Taste of UNC and Bear Fest are all part of Bear Welcome 2012, which includes nearly two dozen events during the first two weeks of the new academic year. A complete schedule is available at

Prior to convocation, students will begin moving into the residence halls Thursday, Aug. 23. Volunteer from throughout the university community will assist students and their families by helping carry personal items, providing directions, answering questions and handing out complimentary bottles of water at nearby information tents.

Fall semester classes begin Monday, Aug. 27.