The BIG EVENT Is Coming

Students can sign up for a full day of service on April 21, when UAlbany takes part in the BIG EVENT.

ALBANY, N.Y. (Dec. 15, 2017) — On Saturday, April 21, 2018, thousands of UAlbany students, faculty and staff will lace up their sneakers, roll up their shirt sleeves and fan out across campus and throughout the Capital District for the BIG EVENT, a full day of service to the community.

“We’re hoping for 100 percent participation from our campus community,” said Martha Asselin, director of UAlbany’s Center for Leadership and Service, and the coordinator of the University’s inaugural BIG EVENT. “It’s a day for our local communities to feel good and a day for all of us to feel proud about this institution and what we can accomplish together.”

UAlbany’s upcoming BIG EVENT will unite nearly 17,000 Great Danes in support of and appreciation for our communities through various service projects, such as neighborhood and park cleanup, collections and drives, donations, training and community building. The initiative, Asselin noted, supports Vice President for Student Affairs Michael Christakis’ vision for excellence in service on the UAlbany campus. It also continues a longstanding tradition of campuses throughout the country giving back to their communities in a big way.

The origin of the BIG EVENT dates back to 1982 when student leaders at Texas A&M launched an annual service day as a thanks to local residents for their ongoing support of the school. Today more than 60 major universities across the nation host their own version of the BIG EVENT annually.


Student volunteers clean and restore children's books for the RED Book Shelf, which makes books available for free to kids all around the Capital Region.

Since September, Asselin and her team have been collaborating with key community partners and Capital Region nonprofits to put together a wide-ranging roster of service opportunities for UAlbany’s BIG EVENT participants to choose from. Asselin is establishing an online system that will allow volunteers to sign up for specific tasks.

“We envision every room in the Campus Center will be hosting an activity focused on a specific community project,” said Asselin. “And we will be championing projects within our community and local neighborhoods.”

There is a place in the BIG EVENT for any service organization that wishes to become involved. Activities and projects currently scheduled for the BIG EVENT include, but are not limited to:

“Through activities like this, we’re helping students build their awareness as well as their resumes, while at the same time we are strengthening our pride in our communities,” Asselin said. “Extending yourself through service in your community is always a great thing. I hope people come away from the day inspired and excited about serving the community year-round. Every day should be a BIG EVENT!”

For more information on how you can become involved in the BIG EVENT, contact Martha Asselin at 518-442-5445 or masselin@albany.edu.

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany-SUNY offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciencesbusiness, public health, health sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.