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Students devote a day to giving back to the community


BLACKSBURG, Va., March 26, 2007 – Some 2,500 Virginia Tech students are planning to dedicate Saturday, March 31 to serving residents of the New River Valley as a special thank you to the community.

Hosted by the Student Government Association, The Big Event—"One Big Day. One Big Thanks"—will complete over 265 service projects across the New River Valley. After gathering on the Drillfield at 10 a.m., students will pick up tools and head into the surrounding community to show their appreciation for being welcomed and hosted during the academic year.

Jobs from past years have included painting houses, washing windows, general cleaning, and yard work. Most tasks take about three to four hours to complete and do not involve power, electric, or gasoline equipment. The Big Event is not need based, and completes jobs for all residents in the New River Valley. Any materials and tools needed for the respective service projects are provided by The Big Event.

“The Big Event provides students the opportunity to give the local community one big thanks for all of their hospitality and support. The community is just as much a part of students’ college experience as academics and extracurriculars, so it’s important to show our appreciation,” said Brian Torgersen, an industrial and systems engineering major from Fanwood, NJ, and director of the Big Event.

This year the event is working with Habitat for Humanity, Hearts & Hammers, RAFT Crisis Hotline, Ramps and Roads, and various other community organizations. The Big Event is also working with the Service-Learning Center at Virginia Tech to seek out more projects in the community and make students aware of other volunteer opportunities throughout the year. For additional information call (540) 231-8631 or visit the Big Event website.

Now in its sixth year, The Big Event is branching out and helping Hollins University start a similar program of its own. Big Event organizers from Virginia Tech will teach the Hollins group how to plan and execute the event, and will also supply them with tools and the services of some volunteers to work alongside them on the project. This is part of a new initiative of The Big Event to inspire and assist other universities in the Commonwealth in holding Big Events of their own.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech is the most comprehensive university in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is among the top research universities in the nation. Today, Virginia Tech’s eight colleges are dedicated to quality, innovation, and results through teaching, research, and outreach activities. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.