September 12, 2018

DAYTON, Ohio - Junior Greg Biggio, a chemical engineering major from Chicago, helped launch the new school year of blood drives at University of Dayton when he stopped by the RecPlex on Sept. 11 to donate.   It was his third time donating at U.D, and he mentioned one difference between blood drives in high school and college.

"It was a chance to get out of class - and to help people!" Greg said about high school blood drives.   For young donors on college campuses, it's becoming more a way of life.

"My parents have done it. We would donate together," he said. "I'm part of a service fraternity, and other service fraternities will say, 'Can you guys come over and donate?'"

Service to others is a common mission at U.D.  Students embrace the Marianist tradition of educating the whole person and linking learning and scholarship with leadership and service.

In 2017 UD hosted eight blood drives, totaling 640 donors and including 265 first-time donors and 505 donations.   Community Blood Center presented the 2017 Platinum Award in the LifeSaving Ambassadors Club to UD for achieving 100 percent or more of collection goals.

Tuesday's first blood drive of the fall signaled a new year of Flyer commitment.  It totaled 78 donors, including 32 first-time donors and 61 donations for 97 percent of goal.

Multiple service organizations sign on as volunteers at the campus blood drives, where they can earn service hours by donating and volunteering.  Sponsor groups for Tuesday's blood drive included the pre-health professional honor society Alpha Epsilon Delta, and the Women in Business organization.

"I definitely like giving back," said senior AED member Steven Borchers, a pre-med student from Worthington.  He made his fourth lifetime donation before volunteering for an hour in the Donor Café serving juice and cookies.

"I definitely like to give back to the area, and I get a chance to see how people work together in this environment," said Steven.  "Any experience I can get from this work is perfect."

"I want to benefit people with my blood," said Ibrahim Alghamdi, a senior mechanical engineering major from Saudi Arabia as he made his first lifetime donation.  "I was a little nervous. I thought dizziness was to be expected."   He was relieved to be feeling fine as he relaxed in the Donor Café.

Going from high school blood drives to college was an easy transition for freshman donor Jayla Shepherd, who gained a strong foundation in community service at West Carrollton High School. 

"I was on Student Council and our Student Council actually hosted the blood drives," said Jayla.  "We also had the 'Unity in Community' with Miamisburg."

Unity in the Community is a partnership between rival high schools to host blood drives and choose a local charity for the $1,000 Unity Award from Universal 1 Credit Union. "I volunteered checking in people" said Jayla, "and in my junior and senior years I was able to donate."