What is The Big Event?

The Big Event is a student-run day of service dedicated to giving back to the Newark community. It is a Registered Student Organization (RSO) at the University of Delaware in its pilot year. The service benefits the campus’ surrounding area and inspires Blue Hens to connect with their home away from home.


In 1982, Joe Nussbaum ‘84 was serving as Vice President of the Student Government Association at Texas A&M. During that time he noticed a disconnect between the students and the surrounding community. To bridge this relationship, Joe and a few friends came up with the initial framework for what The Big Event is today. The Big Event began as a way to say “Thank You” to the surrounding community of Bryan-College Station. Joe Nussbaum envisioned a one-day service project where the students of Texas A&M University could show their appreciation of local residents by completing various tasks at their homes. He believed that after years of loyal support from the community, the very least college students could do is give back for one day. Today, many other universities such as Texas A&M University, Towson University, and Virginia Tech have chapters of their own and take part in the event every year. We hope that we can be a part of this growing The Big Event history at UD and create an event that is a source of pride for Blue Hens.


Our Mission

The Big Event was established to bridge the gap between UD students and the Newark community, where most of us reside. Our aim is for this event, as well as the RSO itself, to foster a greater sense of gratitude and care given to the areas and communities surrounding the University of Delaware campus. We hope to use civic engagement to encourage students to become active citizens both during their time in school and after they’ve graduated.

Our Values

  • Community Stewardship

  • Collaboration

  • Gratitude

  • Leadership

Although The Big Event is centered around one big day of service, the RSO is at work all year long. The event was created as a way for students to give gratitude to the community that houses and supports the University of Delaware. The focus is not on socioeconomic need, but rather, giving thanks to the Newark community. Our main priority is not the number of jobs completed or the number of students who participate, but it is about the interaction between students and residents, and the unity that results that makes The Big Event so special.