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Drexel Wins CAA Blood Drive Challenge

December 1, 2008

Drexel is the winner of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Blood Challenge for the third consecutive year following another outstanding effort. Drexel had 826 actual donors, which yielded 822 productive units of blood. The University of Delaware, which won the first four CAA Blood Challenges (2002-05), finished second with 604 donors. Georgia State University placed third in the Challenge with 367 donors and Virginia Commonwealth University was fourth with 355 donors.

The Colonial Athletic Association Blood Challenge surpassed all previous records for the sixth year in a row with 3,472 actual donors and 3,632 productive units of blood collected from the 12 CAA campuses. The total represents a 6.9 percent increase in the amount of blood collected over last year’s Challenge, more than triple the amount collected during the inaugural campaign just seven years ago. The CAA Blood Challenge has resulted in 17,728 productive units of blood since 2002.

“Drexel Athletics considers the CAA Blood Challenge an important priority for several reasons; it gives our student-athletes an opportunity to lead and serve their campus and community, for Drexel faculty, staff, administration and students to collectively generate institutional pride, and for us to partner with the American Red Cross, one of the most important charitable organizations in this country,” said Dr. Eric Zillmer, Drexel’s director of Athletics. “Winning the CAA Blood Drive for the third year in a row demonstrates our University’s commitment to civic engagement and is another fine example of what makes Drexel an exemplary institution.”

The CAA Blood Challenge was developed by the conference presidents as a fun way to emphasize the critical importance of donating blood. Each CAA institution worked with its local blood service center and designated one day during the fall semester to conduct a campus-wide blood drive. Student groups, faculty, staff and alumni were all encouraged to participate.

“I am proud of the Drexel community for its support of this great humanitarian effort that has become an annual campus tradition,” said James Tucker, senior vice president for student life and Administrative Services at Drexel University. “We appreciate the opportunity to partner with the Penn-Jersey American Red Cross and the CAA on this important initiative.”

Brigid O’Neill-LaGier, CEO of the American Red Cross Penn-Jersey Blood Services region, said, “Congratulations to Drexel University for winning the CAA Blood Challenge for the third year in a row. The students and faculty of Drexel have once again demonstrated their commitment to maintaining a stable blood supply in the Philadelphia area and beyond. Thank you on behalf of the true winners, the area hospital patients who will benefit from your generosity.”

Each of the 12 CAA institutions had more than 85 donors participate in the program. George Mason University finished fifth with 285 donors, followed by Towson (273), UNC Wilmington (176), William and Mary (175), Northeastern (121), Hofstra (103), James Madison (101) and Old Dominion (86).

“Thanks to the tremendous level of support shown for this important program by all of our institutions, we are proud to announce another record-setting year for the CAA Blood Challenge,” CAA Commissioner Tom Yeager said. “The outstanding efforts put forth by our students, faculty and administrators touches the lives of thousands during a critical time for blood donations during the holiday season. The conference would like to thank all of the people who took time to donate blood and the volunteers who have made this annual event such a big success.”

Commissioner Yeager will present Drexel University with an award in recognition of its outstanding achievement during a home basketball game this winter.

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News Media Contact: Niki Gianakaris, Assistant Director, Drexel News Bureau 215-895-6741, 215-778-7752 (cell) or ngianakaris@drexel.edu

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