Contact: Rob Washburn


RICHMOND, Va. (December 21, 2005) – The Colonial Athletic Association Blood Challenge shattered all previous records for the third year in a row with 3,559 attempted donors and 2,697 productive units of blood collected from the 12 CAA campuses. Those totals represent a 28% increase in the amount of blood collected from last year’s campaign and an amazing 132% increase from the inaugural campaign in 2002.

The University of Delaware was declared the winner of the 2005 CAA Blood Challenge for the fourth year in a row by recruiting a Blood Challenge-record 873 attempted donors, which resulted in 579 units of blood collected. Drexel University receives the honor of collecting the most blood with 605 units from 700 potential donors, earning special commendation from the CAA. In addition, first-year CAA member Georgia State University finished third in the Challenge with 381 units of blood collected.

“The success and growth of the CAA Blood Challenge has exceeded our expectations and we are extremely proud to be associated with such a worthwhile and life-saving project,” CAA Commissioner Tom Yeager said. “The credit for that success goes to the many volunteers and staff members on each of our campuses who put in a great deal of effort promoting and running the event, as well as all of the people who took time to donate blood.”

The CAA Blood Challenge was developed in 2002 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.

“The efforts of the University of Delaware community were outstanding,” said Robert Travis, President and CEO of the Blood Bank of Delmarva. “We are thankful to President Roselle for his leadership and to all who did their part to save lives. We are also grateful to the CAA for coordinating the Challenge, which benefits so many patients in communities across the East Coast. The spirit of competition and the hard work by so many gave a great boost to blood supplies at a critical time.”

“Once again, Drexel University has shown its collective good will and tremendous competitive spirit for this life-saving cause,” said Dr. Eric Zillmer, Drexel’s Director of Athletics. “We are proud to have surpassed last year’s total and to have contributed significantly to this CAA initiative by collecting the most productive units of blood. We look forward to the opportunity to lead and serve our community through future drives.”

All 12 CAA institutions had over 100 donors participate in the program. Towson University finished fourth with 263 units of blood. William & Mary collected 181 units of blood, while UNC Wilmington collected 127 units. James Madison was next with 114 units, followed by George Mason (111), Hofstra (100), Old Dominion (83), Virginia Commonwealth (79) and Northeastern (74).

“I have observed on earlier occasions that the CAA Blood Challenge is a public service, a competition and a lot of fun for students, staff and faculty who participate,” University of Delaware President Dr. David Roselle said. “It is gratifying that so many persons from CAA schools take part and thus provide needed support for the communities where their institutions are located. What they have done amounts to a very nice act of charity.”

Commissioner Yeager will present the University of Delaware with an award in recognition of their outstanding achievement during the basketball season.