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Former Student Groups Planning Big Event Service Projects

Caitlin "Cait" Shields '11 February 14, 2018 8:19 AM updated: March 2, 2018 2:08 PM

Members of the San Francisco A&M Club volunteer at a local nonprofit nursery in 2017.
Members of the San Francisco A&M Club volunteer at a local nonprofit nursery in 2017.

A way for Aggies to give back to their community for more than 35 years, The Big Event is expanding outside of Aggieland, being taken up by a number of former student groups.

Ryan Bugai ’17, coordinator of Former Student Programs at The Association of Former Students, said Former Student Big Event is an extension of the campus Big Event. “The core value of selfless service, it’s extending that to the Clubs," he said. "One of the reasons behind a chartered A&M Club is to extend the A&M community, and Former Student Big Event is a good way to do that, to embody that value of selfless service.”

This is the inaugural year for the project, though service projects are nothing new to many former student groups.

This will be the first official year, but Amy Hale ’10, coordinator of Former Student Programs, said many A&M Clubs have been doing springtime service projects designed after Big Event.

"Many do a project the same day that it’s happening in Bryan-College Station,” she said.

Hale said while many A&M Clubs are planning on getting involved, other former student groups, like chartered Constituent Networks, are encouraged to take part to give back. 

“It’s called Former Student Big Event because anybody can participate in it,” she said.

Bugai said beyond engaging Aggies in a coordinated effort of service, FSBE will offer another type of involvement for former students.

“It's a way to expand what the Clubs offer; some people don’t want to go to happy hour but they do want to do a service project,” he said. “There’s one event currently that no matter your age you’ll show up to, and that’s Muster, and we feel that Big Event is going to be another one that no matter your age, people will be passionate about.”

Former student groups planning on holding their own service day, coinciding with student Big Event on March 24 or a day of their choosing, can visit to list their event on a map so other former students can find it and get involved. The Association will also send emails on behalf of the event to solicit more engagement.

“This is friendsraising,” Hale said of one of the reasons for FSBE. “It’s getting Aggies together to perpetuate ties of affection and esteem formed in university or college days. It’s part of our mission and what we do.”

The idea to extend Big Event to former student groups has been a focus of the Young Alumni Advisory Council, a body of former students who graduated in the past 10 years and advise The Association.

Mason Parish ’14, YAAC Former Student Big Event subcommittee chair, said Aggies' commitment to selfless service does not end after leaving College Station. "It was a logical next step to bring The Big Event to the communities we now call home,” he said.

For more information, contact

The Association organizes and facilitates a bevy of events and programs for former students to keep Aggies engaged after they've graduated, including Class programs, Reunions, Clubs and now Former Student Big Event. This is only possible with the support of the Aggie Network. Visit to make a gift.

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