This year's Big Event date is TBD.

Register for The Big Event

The Big Event is a day of service with a simple message to the community - THANK YOU. 

It originated at Texas A&M in 1982 and the Big Event has since spread to campuses across the country. It is now one of the largest student-led service projects in the nation.  The purpose of the Big Event is to give back to the community, to thank local residents for their support throughout the year.

Hampden-Sydney's Big Event began in 2011 and has grown from 110 volunteers that year to over 200 students, faculty, and staff in 2019. Service projects for the Big Event include helping neighbors with yard work and other home projects, as well as helping local community service organizations.  

For more information, please email Sandy Cooke, the Director of Student Affairs Operations and Civic Engagement, at

Here's a sample of a previous year's projects:

  • In Prospect, an illegal tire dump was cleaned up
  • At FACES food pantry, food was distributed to several hundred families
  • Chalgrove Lake was cleaned
  • College Church had mulch spread and the grounds cleaned up
  • Dr. Rachel Goodman led a group in a Clean Virginia Waterways project
  • We assisted with the Special Olympics
  • At Prince Edward High School, built an outdoor classroom
  • Roadways in Prince Edward were cleaned
  • At Habitat sites, a deconstruction project was done, as well as some brush clearing
  • Several local residents had planting done, a deck stained, and a gravel driveway spread