For more information contact: Michelle Key, Public Relations Specialist
Work: 816-501-2434  
Email: Michelle Key  

  Avila University Celebrates AU Gold Rush    
  Kansas City, MO    
August 10, 2009

Friday, Aug. 28, 2009, 5 p.m.
Avila University, 11901 Wornall Rd., Kansas City, Mo

On Friday, Aug. 28, Avila University will celebrate the new school year with its first annual AU Gold Rush, a back-to-school kickoff that includes the art gallery opening, a pep rally and family fun activities.

Avila will kickoff the academic year with the new Thornhill Art Gallery Grand Opening, football pep rally with the unveiling of Avila’s new mascot Dom the Eagle and family fun activities. The Kansas City community is invited to share in the excitement. All events are free of charge and food will be available for purchase.

“The first annual AU Gold Rush is the perfect opportunity for new students and the community to be introduced to the Avila family,” said Jason Baldwin, Director of Student Life. “I’m excited to kickoff the school year with an event that has something for all Eagle fans, no matter what their age.”

Avila’s newly relocated art space the Thornhill Art Gallery and accompanying S. Margaret Reinhart Courtyard will celebrate its grand opening with the exhibit, “The Unusual Dreams of Juniper and TJ Tangpuz.” The whimsical, family friendly exhibit combines animals with flowers and instruments made out of corrugated plastic, including a “Zebraphone,” “Tiger Lily,” “Dandelion” and “Teddy Bear Cactus.” As part of Tangpuz’s exhibit, the performers of Kacico Dance will wear pieces of the exhibit, bringing the exhibit to life through performance.

Along with the gallery opening, Avila will also be holding a pep rally to rev up the Avila Eagles football team. The Eagles will take on the Doane College Tigers in Platte City, Mo., for the third annual "First Down Classic," presented by College Fanz Sports Network on Saturday, Aug. 29. The pep rally will include performances by the Avila Cheerleaders and dance team the Glitter Girls. Also making his debut is the new mascot, Dom the Eagle.
Avila students, family and friends can visit the gallery, participate in the pep rally and enjoy some outdoor fun. At AU Gold Rush, the campus will be filled with fun for the whole family. There will be music, caricature artists, a balloon artist, airbrush tattoos, face painting and multiple inflatable bounce houses and obstacles courses.

For more information about AU Gold Rush, contact Baldwin at 816-501-3754 or email


Avila University is a private, co-educational, values-based liberal arts institution founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, offering undergraduate, graduate, and adult degree programs. Avila University is located at 119th and Wornall Rd in southwest suburban Kansas City, Mo.