NEWARK, Del. – The University of Delaware Fall Semester Blood Drive was not just the blood drive of the week, but the blood drive of the month and of the autumn season.

Three University of Delaware students holding up signs displaying their blood types.

The University of Delaware has completed one month of the fall semester and the students were ready to donate as evidenced by the whopping 125 appointments filled on Wednesday, September 27 at the Perkins Student Center. This incredible boost to inventory came during a blood emergency that has been in effect since September 14.

The huge draw was due in large part to the stellar efforts of UD’s Sigma Alpha sorority sisters who organized this blood drive in partnership with BBD Account Manager Gia Rivera. 

“It’s a full circle moment for me since UD was one of the first accounts that I took over by myself last year,” Gia said.

Director, Donor Resources Nicole Pineault, who was in town to train new Director of Donor Recruitment Joanna Arat, was impressed. 

“Nice going Gia,” Nicole said during her meeting with Joanna and the account managers on Wednesday. “And thank you to Sigma Alpha Sorority. You were the key to making this fall semester UD blood drive a success.”

Smiling blood donor in donation chair holding up sign with her blood type.

Gia thanked University of Delaware Sigma Alpha sorority sisters Sydney Pitt, Maci Carter, Zarina Ray, Jill D’Adamo, Lindsay Meyers and Jacqueline Rima, among others, who all volunteered at the University of Delaware Blood Drive.

University of Delaware senior pre veterinary medicine major Zarina Ray said Sigma Alpha looks forward to hosting the blood drives every year. She said Sigma Phi Delta Fraternity also assisted.

“We want to help as many people as we can,” Zarina said.

Zarina and Sydney staffed the canteen where donors got their juice and cookies.

Meanwhile, Maci and Jacqueline staffed a table in the main hallway of the Perkins Student Center, where they continued to recruit donors.

“I know that there’s a national blood shortage,” said Maci, a senior plant science major. “I’m glad that we can play a part in helping reduce that shortage.”

“It’s great that so many college kids can make time to donate blood,” said Jacqueline, a UD junior animal bio science.

As Maci and Jacqueline continued to recruit, UD senior Jill D’Adamo and junior Nate Riehl signed in donors at the entrance to the Rodney Room. Jill is a senior animal science major and member of Sigma Alpha, and Nate is a junior electrical engineer major and member of Sigma Phi Delta.

“We had a table at Fall Fest and we had a couple people sign up there,” Jill said.

“We also had a couple tables at the student centers signing people up,” Nate said.(Perkins and Trabant are the two students centers on campus.)

Among those who signed up were a number of first-time donors, including senior environmental science and meteorology double major Michelle Chavanne.

“My dad has always donated and I’ve always wanted to,” Michelle said. “Last year, I couldn’t because of classes. This year was perfect. I may as well do it; so, I did.”

Isabella Ewin is a busy student majoring in junior biological sciences with minors in medical diagnostics and theatre. But, she made time to donate blood on Wednesday.

“I donate to save lives,” Isabella said.

Donating with Isabella was her friend, Kaitlyn DuBritz, a junior biology major with medical diagnostics and theatre minors.

“I always donate when there’s a blood drive,” Kaitlyn said. “It started in high school. I just want to save lives. I have the ability.”

Olivia Harnden, a UD freshman medical diagnostics major on a pre-physician’s assistant track, donated blood for the first time!

“I have an assignment for one of my classes for service, and one of them was donating blood,” Olivia said. “And I saw the sign outside [for the drive], and I just decided to. Plus, I’ve always wanted to.”

Zarina’s boyfriend, UD junior physics major Josh Malone, also donated for the first time.

“I got out of class, and she said she had food for me here,” Josh said. “I walked in to a big blood drive and she said, donate blood.”

Nicole Buckley works at the University of Delaware, and she was among the donors as well.

“I work here; it’s convenient,” Nicole said. “I’m O negative, and I get the calls.”

UD sophomore and Sigma Alpha member Kaitlyn Bradley is an agricultural natural resources major. She came to the blood drive with Wyatt Bright, a junior agriculture and natural resources major who regularly donates at University of Delaware during the school year.

“I’m trying to help out my sorority,” Kaitlyn said. “The first time I donated was in high school. You came to our school.”

As for why Wyatt donates? “Her,” he said, pointing to Kaitlyn.

Thanks for coming out, Kaitlyn and Wyatt.

Richard Chapman was also among the donors. He graduated from the University of Delaware with a degree in history in 2022. He now works for UD Police.

“For one, I know there’s people who need blood transfusions. And in this world where a lot of medical issues happen, it’s just common sense. Some of my family wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for blood.”

Last but, not least the blood drive attracted O positive donors such as Anastasia Stanley, a sophomore marketing and management major.

“I’m O positive and I feel guilty if I don’t,” Anastasia said. “You guys call me like I owe you money!”

Esther Weyer, a graduate student in UD’s bio informatics program, master, is also O positive.

“I donate because it’s the most common and in demand,” she said.

A big thank you goes to all the UD donors who came out to make this draw a wonderful success.

Special thanks also goes to BBD Manager, Donor Collections Mobile Vivian Powell and Supervisors Madeline Hernandez and Jackeline Rivera who led a hardworking crew at UD on Wednesday that included four Bloodmobile Drivers and several Blood Collection Techs.