MTSU faces off with WKU in eighth annual blood drive competition

Photo and story by Ariel Reiter / Contributing Writer

The eighth annual blood-drive competition between Western Kentucky University and Middle Tennessee State University took place on Monday, Oct. 29 thru Wednesday, Oct. 31. The university with the most donations will receive the annual travel trophy at the football game between the two universities taking place on Friday, Nov. 2 at MTSU.

But this annual competition just isn’t about the trophy or bragging rights, it’s about helping those in need.

“Every time somebody donates blood, it saves three people’s lives. That’s how important this is,” said Ray Wiley, the associate director of Campus Recreation.

“With the storms going through North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida, the Red Cross had over 200 blood drives canceled that put us over 7,000 units of blood or donors down from what we normally get,” Wiley added. “So, to say that we are critically low is an understatement.”

According to the American Red Cross, they are in critical need of blood and platelets from eligible donors. The drive not only helps people within the state of Tennessee but all over the United States.

This blood drive is set up at MTSU Campus Recreation Center, opening at 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Anyone may make an appointment to help the process, but walk-ins are always welcomed.

Although this is a friendly competition between WKU and MTSU, students and faculty of MTSU are encouraging others to want to be victorious in this competition. Supporters want this to be another winning year for MTSU, the five-time champs of the blood drive.

“We want to beat them bad,” Wiley said. “I know President McPhee and everybody here – including our students, faculty and staff – everybody wants bragging rights. But more importantly, we want people to support this drive and to give back to the community – both of our communities. So, we are hopeful and cautiously optimistic. We are going to have great success this year. We are just very appreciative of the opportunity that the Red Cross gives us. We want to thank Western Kentucky University, our colleagues, for being willing to do this as well. Because this is two communities and both of them are ‘rolling their sleeves up’ to give back to others in need.”

The blood drive ends on Oct. 31 at 6 p.m. For more information about this event, click here or contact the Campus Rec Center at 615-898-2104 or by email at

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