CHADRON – More than 200 people have registered for the One Big Thanks virtual conference co-hosted by Chadron State College and Texas A&M Oct. 24. CSC students, led by Dr. Shaunda French-Collins, have attended the annual conference in College Station, Texas, since CSC first started hosting The Big Event, an annual day of service, in 2013.
Attendees of the conference hail from approximately 20 institutions such as New Mexico State University, the University of Mississippi, Virginia Tech, and the University of Central Arkansas.
Kaci Waugh of Chadron, graduate assistant for The Big Event at CSC, said weekly meetings with the Texas A&M team to collaborate and plan the event has created lasting partnerships.
“Watching this event come to life and working with The Big Event leaders from schools across the country and seeing their excitement for the first virtual conference has been so rewarding,” Waugh said. “In this strange time, our hope is this conference helps shed light on all of the ways you can still give back during a pandemic. I am extremely happy that CSC’s Big Event staff all have the opportunity to attend the conference, something that never would have been possible without it being virtual.”
Assistant director of The Big Event Emily Hansen of Hemingford, Nebraska, said it has been a pleasure to partner with Texas A&M in planning the virtual conference.
“The process of everything coming together has been remarkable,” Hansen said. “Dr. French-Collins is constantly looking for ways to improve our Big Event through networking. Being able to host the virtual conference was another way to improve.”
Joe Nussbaum, founder of The Big Event, will be the opening speaker. Chris Field, an author and motivational speaker, will close the conference, according to French-Collins.
Presentations will cover the following topics: budgeting, maintaining traditions, leadership, tool distribution, involving internships and classes, sponsorships, marketing, and public relations. Presenters will include students who serve on the executive board of their local The Big Event, student activities staff, and others who work full-time on The Big Event from the University of Central Oklahoma, the University of Wyoming, Quinnipiac University, and the University of Louisiana Lafayette.
The Big Event is a student-led, community service day designed to thank the community of Chadron. Established at Texas A&M University in 1982, The Big Event now occurs at 125 campuses across the nation. The annual tradition attracts hundreds of CSC volunteers who complete an average of 50 jobsites each year.
—Tena L. Cook, Marketing Coordinator