Big Event Wins Governor’s Community Impact Award

big-event-1Texas A&M University officials have been informed that the university’s student-led annual community service project – Big Event – has won the Governor’s Higher Education Community Impact Award for 2015.

The award is one of nine 2015 Governor’s Volunteer Awards to be presented Sept. 21 at a reception hosted by First Lady Cecilia Abbott, who serves has honorary chair of the Governor’s Volunteer Awards The ceremony will be held at the Governor’s Mansion in Austin.

The Higher Education Community Impact Award recognizes a college or university that supports and encourages civic engagement and volunteering as a core value.

“Recognition such as this not only reflects positively on the Big Event Committee, but it also reflects on the core value of selfless service that is entrenched in the entire Texas A&M student body,” says Rusty Thompson, a 1985 Texas A&M graduate who serves as director of student activities.

Big Event is a unique service project – the largest one-day student-run service project in the nation – that 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.

Big-event-paint-thumbIn the last few years, record numbers of Aggies have participated in Big Event. That trend continued this past March with more than 22,000 students volunteering to complete almost 2,500 jobs ranging from cleaning yards to painting to making repairs.

“Our committee members work tirelessly year round to ensure the best Big Event day possible each March, and I hope this award offers them a big thanks for their time and energy,” says Mark Lutz, Big Event director for 2015. “We strive each year to make it the best Big Event possible, and I hope that each participant, committee member and executive can see this award as a token of appreciation for their hard work.”

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.

In announcing the award, officials with the award committee and the OneStar Foundation noted that Big Event is so embedded into the undergraduate culture of Texas A&M students that many of them continue their civic engagement into their professional and personal lives wherever they reside.

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Media contact: Rusty Thompson, Department of Student Activities, at (979) 845-1133 or rustyt@tamu.edu or Tura King, Division of Marketing & Communications, at (979) 845-4670 or tura-king@tamu.edu


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