A&M's Big Event Celebrates 25 Years

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Community service was on the Saturday agenda for thousands of Aggies. For the 25th year in a row the Big Event, the largest one-day, student-run community service project in the nation, was held in Aggieland.

Throughout the day, over 9,000 students volunteered their labor to about 1,000 community projects in the Bryan-College Station community. Projects included painting, building fences, weeding yards and more.

This year's Big Event student director, Molly Eberly, says it is a way for the students to show their appreciation to the community for their never-ending support.

"They support us throughout our collegiate careers, and this is just a chance for us to go back and say thank you," Eberly said.

The Big Event is something that is very much a part of the Aggie tradition. It helps demonstrate Aggies' commitment to service in their community.

This yearly event was initially a little project organized by six A&M students. In 1982, it was born through the desire of six students to thank the the community. They got together to clean a local cemetery.

That simple act has evolved into the largest service project in the nation according to the event's executive director. Twenty-five years have passed and more than a half-million hours of community service has been performed by A&M students.

The university's Student Government Association sponsors and organizes the massive community service project. Collectively, students worked through fund-raising events to raise more than $70,000 to buy tools and supplies.

Following A&M's example, more than 70 schools across the nation hold some kind of community project. Many of those schools' call their projects the Big Event.