April 04, 2023

On March 25, nearly 200 students turned out for Hampden-Sydney's Big Event – a day of service to the community observed by numerous colleges across the country.

H-SC students doing landscaping for volunteer serviceOriginating at the University of Texas A&M in 1982 and becoming one of the largest student-led service projects in the nation, the Big Event has become a staple of Tigers Serve, Hampden-Sydney’s civic engagement program.

This year, nearly 200 students participated in 27 community service projects – two of which were on campus. Brothers of Chi Phi fraternity worked together to tidy the Wilson Trail while other students participated in a clean-up effort at the Tadpole Hole Disc Golf Course. Off the Hill, students participated in various community service projects that included yard work, highway trash pickup, debris removal, painting, organizing Habitat for Humanity ReStore materials, and Habitat for Humanity site work. To close out the weekend on Sunday, March 26, fraternity brothers from Pi Kappa Alpha made their way out to Cumberland High School to assist in the Special Olympics and cheer on the athletes.

Pi Kappa Alpha brother Noel Stock ‘24 reflected upon the day of service and the importance of leadership and servitude within the College, saying, “As Hampden-Sydney students, we strive to be leaders in and out of the classroom and serve others by placing them before ourselves. The Big Event is just one instance where we as students can serve those around us and demonstrate what it truly means to be men of character and citizens of service.”

As Hampden-Sydney students, we strive to be leaders in and out of the classroom and serve others by placing them before ourselves.

Noel Stock '24

H-SC students working inside a Habitat for Humanity homeDirector of Student Affairs Operations, Orientation, and Civic Engagement Sandy Cooke noted the importance of the Big Event in living up to the College’s mission to form good men and good citizens, saying, “Hampden-Sydney's liberal arts curriculum, Honor Code and Code of Conduct, play an important role of forming men of good character. The final piece of the puzzle is the connection between the world of the campus and the world beyond the gates.  Structured, considered engagement with the outside world, like the Big Event, provides our students with challenges and opportunities that help them grow into responsible men and informed, active citizens.”

“The College has a responsibility to deepen and regularize these experiences and to encourage reflection about them,” Cooke continues. “During the year and on Big Event weekend, we strive to develop strong partnerships in the Prince Edward community to model good citizenship and provide opportunities for students to become involved in ways that develop their commitments to service and active citizenship.”

Over the course of the weekend, the students gave it their all and made a positive impact as men and citizens of great character and service. Thanks to the diligence of Cooke and the student’s commitment to serving, the Big Event certainly succeeded in bettering the campus and the surrounding Prince Edward community.

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