The group of Texas A&M University students gather around a table focused and determined. This is the last stage of an entire year of planning, and their meticulous attention to detail has one mission: launch Big Event on March 28.
This unique service project – the largest one-day student-run service project in the nation – began 33 years ago with just six Aggies who volunteered to clean up a local cemetery as a way to thank the Bryan/College Station community that welcomed them when they came to study at Texas A&M.
In the last few years, record numbers of Aggies have participated in Big Event. That trend continues this year with more than 22,000 students volunteering to complete almost 2,500 jobs ranging from cleaning yards to painting to making repairs.
Already the largest such service project in the nation, Big Event has expanded to 110 other schools across the nation and now to schools in Spain, Australia, Germany, Pakistan and Italy.
Bright and early Saturday (March 28), those legions of Texas A&M students will gather in Research Park near the Bush School and, with the firing of a cannon, will pick up paint and brushes, rakes, shovels and other tools and fan out across the Bryan/College Station community to tackle 2,500 jobs.
The student leaders who have worked on this year’s Big Event and helped expand it to a historic level say they are ready for the big day and add that they “can’t wait to see the Aggie Spirit in action.”
Big Event began expanding from its very beginning because the idea of selfless service and giving back the community has a wide appeal to Aggies.
Joe Nussbaum, a 1984 Texas A&M graduate, was one of those first six Aggie volunteers at the first Big Event, and he had a hand in its evolution. In 1982, he was a leader in Texas A&M’s Student Government Association, along with his friend, Evan Secor also of the Class of ’84. Another friend, Becky Bristol ’86 (now Becky Nussbaum), served as the first Big Event publicity director.
Aggies are always passionate about helping wherever they can and, once the idea of Big Event took shape, Nussbaum says other student organizations wanted in on the service project. In fact, when it came time to plan the second Big Event, there were more volunteers than there were projects, so Nussbaum and the others began hunting for jobs to do.
From those first six students Big Event comes to fruition each year with a committee of more than 200 students spending a year planning the monumental undertaking with a meticulous attention to detail. They have a mission clearly defined by a simple statement: One big day….one big thanks…. one Big Event.
Press release courtesy of Texas A&M University Newswire.