NEWARK, Del. - After collecting over 650 units of blood for the ninth-annual Colonial Athletic Association Blood Challenge during its
drive on November 17, the University of Delaware finished third in the league. Drexel University won the Have a Heart Trophy for the fifth year in a row, collecting over 1,100 units.

As a conference, the CAA had 4,498 actual donors and 4,718 productive units, a 7.8 percent increase from last year's challenge, led by Drexel's 1,105 actual donors and 1,045 productive units. The Patriots of George Mason University earned their highest finish ever, getting donations from 727 donors, nearly doubling their efforts from a year ago.

"To contribute nearly 5,000 units of blood from our 12 CAA campuses is an amazing accomplishment and shows the unprecedented level of support shown for this important program by all of our institutions," CAA Commissioner Tom Yeager said. "The outstanding efforts put forth by our students, faculty and administrators will have a positive impact on the lives of thousands of people during a critical time for blood donations over the holiday season. The CAA would like to thank all of the people who took time to donate blood and the volunteers who have allowed this program to grow each year and have made this event such a big success."

The Blue Hens, who won the first four Blood Challenges, which began in 2002, finished second with 654 donors, all benefiting Blood Bank of Delmarva. Virginia Commonwealth University took fourth with 439 donors.

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 term to conduct a campus-wide blood drive. Student groups, faculty, staff and alumni were all encouraged to participate.

All 12 CAA institutions had at least 90 donors participate in the program. Towson University finished fifth with 282 donors; Georgia State
University was sixth with 268 donors, followed by Hofstra University (261), UNC Wilmington (234), James Madison University (193), the College of William and Mary (141), Old Dominion University (104), and Northeastern University (90).

The event, which was sponsored on campus at the Trabant Center by the Resident Student Association, HOLA, Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and the Food Science Club. UD Dining Services provided free drinks and cookies while the Blood Bank of Delmarva provided free t-shirts, helped bring Delaware's total number of donated units to 5,681. Delaware's highest mark was set in its fourth consecutive win, collecting 873 units.