K-State is home to more than 20,000 students here in Manhattan, but the Wildcat pride extends far beyond this city alone. At the same time Open House will kick off in Manhattan on Saturday, K-State Salina will be holding its own open house event, complete with activities signature of the aviation programs on campus.
“We have a ton of things to do,” said Natalie Blair, coordinator of public relations for K-State Salina. “We’ll have people flying through our airplane simulator, that’s usually a pretty big hit.”
K-State Salina specializes in the fields of aviation, engineering, technology management and human services. Currently, there are roughly 1,000 students enrolled at K-State Salina, and those students have taken the lead in managing Salina’s Open House.
“Either through student clubs or academic programs, all the booths are run by students,” Blair said. “It’s a busy day and a great time for the community to come out and see what we’re doing.”
K-State Salina will also be using Open House to commemorate the K-State sesquicentennial. In addition to serving K-State 150th anniversary ice cream, visitors will have the chance to win prizes.
“One fun piece that we’re doing to bring the 150th anniversary to Salina is to give away 150 shirts to the first people through our doors,” said Heather Wagner, director of marketing for K-State Salina.
Salina’s Open House will begin with a Wildcat breakfast, where students and visitors can eat with current pilots and talk about their aviation experience. The breakfast, which is provided for all who attend, is free.
“We have pancakes, sausage and orange juice for everyone who comes by,” Blair said. “The annual breakfast is a lovely little donation that happens.”
From there, Salina’s Open House will resemble Manhattan’s, including campus tours, entertainment and prizes. Attractions specific to Salina include do-it-yourself rocket science projects, a baseball booth where visitors can test the speed of their baseball pitch and a student project fair.
“Our project fair is open to anyone who wants to enter,” Blair said. “People can walk through and see what students are working on.”
K-State tradition still prevails at the Salina campus, and students there will be able to enjoy the same festivities as those in Manhattan.
“We always have our Purple Pride ice cream,” Blair said.
In the past, Open House has been an extensive collaboration between the Manhattan and Salina campuses. This year, there will be no physical ambassador from Salina at Manhattan’s Open House. Instead, information will be available in the Union about K-State Salina.
“We usually have booths or displays about Manhattan in our own Union,” Blair said. “We have been preparing for this for a while.”
Wagner said that this first All-University Open House will be the start of new networking plans between all three campuses.
“In the future, we’ll have representation on all campuses,” Wagner said. “We’ll be working together on one common goal.”
Graduates of K-State Salina will also be present at its Open House, and visitors will have the opportunity to talk with them during an alumni reunion.
“We have an alumni reunion during the day and a prospective student luncheon,” Blair said. “That’s a place where people can learn more and get questions answered.”
From student tours to science experiments to flight training, K-State Salina will be bustling come Saturday. Blair says the day will be busy, but the payoff benefits K-State as an entire community.
“We’re looking forward to being a part of the All-University Open House,” Wagner said. “We’re excited to share the Salina campus with students and returning alumni.”