Volunteers to Pull Out the Stops for ‘Big Event’

300 Students to Lend a Hand on Annual UT Dallas Community Service Day

Aug. 28, 2008

Welcome Week 2008 will close with a bang Saturday as more than 300 Comets gather for The Big Event – the largest, one-day, student-run service learning initiative in the nation.

At UT Dallas, teams will gather in the Student Union Galaxy Rooms beginning at 8 a.m. for a free breakfast and a short program about volunteer opportunities available through the University.  Afterward, they’ll converge on North Texas-area charities for a whirlwind morning of outreach.

About 10-12 notable community organizations will benefit from UT Dallas’ participation in The Big Event, including the Salvation Army, the Richardson Animal Shelter, Heritage Farmstead, Samaritan Inn and Cornerstone, among others. 

In addition, several UT Dallas teams will be involved in a “thank you” campaign for U.S. service personnel through the USO.  Those groups will create cards for members of the military who are departing on tours of duty through Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.       

Terry Hockenbrough, coordinator of Service Learning, pointed out that the University’s version of The Big Event can be summarized by the motto for the UT Dallas program: “Leadership in Action.”

“I’m so proud of the students on our campus who get involved through Service Learning,” Hockenbrough said.  “Whether it’s with initiatives like The Big Event or Alternative Spring Break, they give selflessly by dedicating their time and energy.  I’m deeply humbled that we can partner with special interest groups and community organizations to bring about such positive change.”

Student groups participating in The Big Event include the McDermott Scholars, Rotaract, the Association for Computing Machinery, HOSA, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Sigma, Living Learning Communities, the Hindu Student Council, Global Village and International Student Services, Newman Catholic Ministry, Alpha Phi Omega, the Management Honors Program, the National Association of Black Accountants, the Comet Cat Coalition, Terry Scholars, Alpha Epsilon Delta, FOCUS, Baptist Student Ministry, Outreach, Golden Key International Honour Society and Art of Living. 

At the conclusion of The Big Event — around noon — volunteers will head back to the Phase 8 clubhouse in University Village Apartments for a pizza and pool party. 

The Big Event originated at Texas A&M University in 1982, when student leaders identified a need to support the university’s surrounding community of Bryan-College Station.  It is now an annual event at more than 60 colleges and universities across the country.

For more information about getting involved with The Big Event or Service Learning at UT Dallas, contact Mark Chavez at 972-883-2098 or marcos.chavez@utdallas.edu.


Media Contacts: Jenni Huffenberger, UT Dallas, (972) 883-4431, jennib@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu

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