Ricky Scheuerle, University Program Council Director of Speakers and Comedians, is excited to be organizing the event. A few months ago, he was flipping through booklets looking for potential speakers when he came across Bill Nye.
“I thought Bill Nye would be kind of cool. I think we were all really excited about Bill Nye when we were kids,” Scheuerle said.
Nye will be speaking about his life and, of course, science. He will also talk about hela cells, a concept from The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, this year’s Auburn Connects book.
Right now the event is scheduled to be held in the Student Center ballroom, which can seat 650 people. However, there are already 1,405 guests attending the event on Facebook, and word of mouth is spreading quickly.
Not to mention, UPC has done no publicity for the event yet, other than creating the Facebook event.
“I knew people liked Bill Nye, but at the same time, Bill Nye was something from our childhood. I guess it’s the nostalgia factor that’s really exciting a lot of people,” Scheuerle said.
A big surprise for students: there will be a limited meet and greet for a select 50 guests. Scheuerle said UPC has not decided how the 50 people will be chosen yet.
Tickets are free for Auburn students with an Auburn Ignited card. Tickets will become available Oct. 25 at noon. Scheuerle stressed how important it is for students to get tickets promptly if they want to go. With a student body of 25,000, UPC is not sure what kind of attendance to expect.
There has been talk of the event being moved to the Auburn Arena to accommodate more students, but according to Scheuerle, the switch has not been made yet. UPC is not sure if there is enough demand to move it to the arena.
“There’s a lot that has to be done to move it to the arena,” Scheuerle said. First, UPC has to book the arena. Second, the arena costs money. Third, the arena is booked for the homecoming concert the following night.
The homecoming concert, featuring Dierks Bentley and Craig Morgan, is Nov. 2 in the arena. Setup for the concert will be the night before, during the Bill Nye event.
Holding the Bill Nye event in the Student Activities Center is another possibility. The Student ACT can seat 1,500 students. But the Student ACT poses other problems, starting with the construction surrounding it.
For now, Scheuerle stresses that students get their tickets on Oct. 25 so UPC can see the demand for tickets. If the location does change, UPC will make an announcement.