On Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, a reporter from the local Irving news asked me a question that, at first, caught me off-guard: Why do you love UD?
I had spent the last seven months preparing the first annual Big Event at the University of Dallas, a day of service for the Irving community, where volunteers went to households in Irving and raked leaves, painted sheds, and mowed lawns. I had prepared for every question, every speech and every worst-case scenario. And I had expected the reporter to ask me about this.
But, it wasn’t until they asked the question did I finally verbalize the reason why we spent seven months planning a community service event for the university.
The Big Event was a direct manifestation of what we learn in the classroom here at UD. In every class, whether it feels like it or not, we learn how to love God, we learn how to love ourselves, and we learn how to love our neighbors. The Big Event helped 38 different families, two different schools, and one parish across Irving. What we did on Saturday for the community isn’t a new idea on campus. On my first day of class at UD, we discussed how Aristotle views the community, reaching toward a higher good. The themes of selflessness, kindness and service are foundational aspects of an education at the University of Dallas.
On Saturday, upwards of 200 UD volunteers tangibly lived them out.
I had spent the day of the Big Event out in the Irving community, seeing all the reasons why I love UD. I saw the Dean of Students load his lawnmower in the back of his Camry and mow the lawn of an elderly woman in Irving. I saw groups of my fellow students and friends spending their Saturday digging trenches, painting fences, and organizing garages of people they had never met before. I saw the Provost working with a team of five students and bagging leaves for an Irving resident who then emailed me after, referring to the UD volunteers as “The Angels.”
After I told the reporter this, her mouth dropped.
“The Dean of Students fit his lawnmower in his CAMRY?”
“College students came to volunteer at 7:30 am on a Saturday?”
Yes, they did. That’s just what we do here. And that’s why I love UD.
On Nov. 6, some of the faculty, alumni, and current students at University of Dallas visited 40 homes in their Irving community to provide outdoor and indoor services for residents in need. This inaugural service project, named "The Big Event," is just the beginning of what organizers hope will be an annual event.
Approximately 270 students, faculty, staff, and alumni will gather on Saturday morning, Nov. 6, to launch the first-ever UD Big Event, a day of community service to neighbors in need in the City of Irving. The 8 a.m. kickoff will feature brief remarks from Irving Mayor Rick Stopfer, UD President Jonathan J.
The first annual Big Event took place at the University of Dallas on Saturday, Nov. 6. The event, open to current students, faculty and alumni, occurred from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., according to UD's calendar.