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UTA students, other volunteers prep for ‘The Big Event’ day of community service

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 • Media Contact: Bridget Lewis

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More than 1,300 University of Texas at Arlington students, faculty and staff will give their time and energy to Arlington and surrounding cities during the 16th Annual “The Big Event” planned for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 9. 

About 800 volunteers participated in the Big Event 2015, UTA's day of community service on April 11, 2015. Projects ranged from cleaning up parks and other properties to assisting nonprofit organizations.

The day is designed for people wanting to make a difference in the community through various volunteer opportunities. Individual students or groups of 10 to 20 people may register to volunteer from now until March 30. Visit to volunteer. Choose one of the project sites and click the link to register.

As of early March, 360 more people were needed to fill the 1,330 volunteer positions for the largest number of projects that UTA has ever been able to offer in the history of the event.

Tim Quinnan, UTA vice president for Student Affairs, said the opportunities to serve are plentiful and that volunteers are asked to give a minimum of four hours.

“It’s about making an impact on the community, making a difference in someone’s life, and the importance that our students place on leadership,” said Quinnan, who also noted that the Big Event’s focus on sustainable urban communities aligns with the University’s Strategic Plan 2020 | Bold Solutions: Global Impact.

Numerous community-based and non-profit organizations and agencies will benefit from the volunteer efforts, as well as local residents, including those that provide services to children, senior citizens and families in low-income neighborhoods. Others helped through the Big Event include agencies that promote quality of life, such as the Science Center at River Legacy Park, the Arlington Independent School District, and other organizations.

“Every year, The Big Event at UTA just keeps getting better and better and we can’t wait to see how lives will be transformed this year,” said UTA alumnus and Arlington City Councilman Robert Rivera. “It takes all of us joining together to impact the lives of those who rely on these important services and facilities, and I can’t think of a better partner to Arlington than UTA.”

Following service, volunteers will be given a t-shirt and be given a t-shirt and be invited to the Thank You Celebration held on campus.  The Thank You Celebration features complimentary lunch, music and activities in celebration of the volunteers’ hard work and service to the community.

Since it launched in 2000, participation in the Big Event at UTA has grown to more than 960 volunteers each year, completing projects at more than 50 different agency project sites and donating thousands of hours of community service. New this year are projects with the Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center, Mansfield Living Word Community Garden and Mission Central West Village Garden.

The Big Event began at Texas A&M University as a way to say thank you to Bryan-College Station – a community continuously supporting the university. Decades later, the Big Event has grown to become the largest one-day student-run service project in the United States, presently occurring at 72 universities, including UTA.

Email for more information or to make a donation. Stay current with the Big Event on Facebook and on Twitter @UTAbigevent.

About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a Carnegie “highest research activity” institution of more than 50,000 students in campus-based and online degree programs and is the second-largest institution in The University of Texas System. U.S. News & World Report ranks UTA fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is ranked as the top four-year college in Texas for veterans on Military Times’ 2016 Best for Vets list. Visit to learn more, and find UTA rankings and recognition at