ImageIt’s April, and Mother Nature is still playing games – soaring temperatures one day, a frost warning the next.  The weather Thursday, April 18 on the University of Dayton campus was perfect for volleyball, sunbathing and tossing the football. Not so much for studying for exams or staying indoors.  Yet that didn’t stop students from supporting the year’s final campus blood drive.

The volleyball court outside the RecPlex may have been busy, but so was the Community Blood Center (CBC) blood drive inside.  By the end of the day, 82 students had registered, including 27 first-time donors, and donated 61 units for 122 percent of the blood collection goal.

The drive capped another amazing academic year of CBC blood drives on campus.  Together UD and the UD Law School hosted 10 blood drives, registered 714 student donors and collected 544 units of blood.

“Last year we had 30 student organizations sponsoring and volunteering at the blood drives. This year we had 50,” said CBC’s Donna Teuscher, the account representative for UD.  “It keeps going up.  You could say these are no longer our blood drives. They really belong to the students.  They have taken ownership.”

UD’s commitment is all the more impressive when you consider that students are juggling much more than volleyballs when budgeting their time.  The final blood drive was a good opportunity for donors to look back on what they felt were their shining accomplishments of the school year.

At the Donor Café, sponsor group volunteers handed out juice and cookies and collected monetary donations for “The One Fund” created to help the people most affected by the Boston Marathon explosions.

Sophomore Melissa Cobb is a pre-law, Phi Alpha Delta member from Chicago. “This year I got a better idea of myself and what I want to do with my career,” she said.  Sophomore Emma Majchrzak, an honors biology Beta Beta Beta member from Cincinnati, gave the question of her proudest accomplishment a lot of thought.

“I got more involved on campus,” she said. “You don’t know as a freshman all the volunteer opportunities open to you.”

In the Donor Room, the answer was easy for freshman Celina Mosher from Chicago. “Today I finished by volunteer project,” she said as she made her donation. “I was a volunteer at an elementary school helping Spanish-speaking students understand what the teachers are telling them in class. I was working with a fourth-grader from Honduras.”

Nearby, sophomore Maggie Egan from Cincinnati made her 6th lifetime blood donation.  She previously donated at the February campus drive sponsored by her co-ed education fraternity Epsilon Delta Upsilon.

“Yesterday we had a school-wide symposium for our year-long project and final grade in our Christian Ethics class,” she said. Her group examined ways to save energy and water in their dorm building.  In a two-week period they reduced electricity usage by 2,000 kilowatts. “We were working on it pretty much since last August and presented it to students and faculty,” she said.

Freshman Kelsey McGrail from Hillsdale, NJ made her second lifetime donation at the drive. “I recently got into the Dayton Civics Scholars,” she said. “That’s my proudest achievement.”

Kelsey is among a dozen students from her graduating class that will attend special sessions taught by Dayton leaders to learn about the workings of the city, and will also complete a Dayton internship.  She and her fellow scholars will then choose a capstone project about Dayton that they consider important and complete it before graduation in 2016.

As Kelsey spoke, freshman Tyler Feltham from Lewisburg, PA settled into a nearby donor bed. The two didn’t know each other but it turned out they have something in common. Both were influenced to come to UD by their parents because both parents are UD graduates.  In both cases, their parents met and fell in love when they were students at UD.
For Tyler, leaving the family nest in order to study Exercise Science and Fitness Management at UD was a significant accomplishment of his freshman year. “Being away from home,” he said. “Eight hours away. You’re not going to be able to visit family.”

To the year’s achievements he adds becoming a blood donor.  “In high school I always had a lacrosse game or a soccer game on the days of the blood drives,” he said. “But I always wanted to donate.”

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