Campus News

Big Blue Crush Blood Drive Saves Lives

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 18, 2019) –  University of Kentucky students, faculty, staff and fans throughout Kentucky are rolling up their sleeves this week to save lives.

They will use their lifesaving powers in an annual blood drive to help the University of Kentucky beat the University of Tennessee in the 32nd annual Big Blue Crush. Last year, the University of Tennessee and Medic Regional Blood Center in Knoxville snapped UK’s eight-year winning streak, so Kentucky Blood Center (KBC) will be looking to the UK community and statewide supporters to exact revenge today, Nov. 18, through Friday, Nov. 22.

UK students, faculty, staff and fans can donate at the following campus locations today through Friday, Nov. 22:

Gatton Student Center: 10 a.m. -- 6 p.m. today, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; and 10 a.m. -- 5 p.m. Wednesday

Buell Armory: 6 a.m. -- 3 p.m. today

Lewis Honors College: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Friday

Gatton College of Business and Economics, Room 307: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tuesday

Johnson Center: 1 – 6 p.m. Thursday

UK Medical Center: 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. Friday

If a campus donation site is inconvenient, visit one of the following statewide Big Blue Crush donation sites.

Today, Nov. 18 Laurel County Community (1:30 -- 6:30 p.m.) Paintsville Walmart (11 a.m. – 6 p.m.)

Tuesday, Nov. 19 Madison County Berea Community (11 a.m. – 5 p.m.) Mercer County High School (8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.)

Wednesday, Nov. 20 Casey County Community (Noon – 6 p.m.)

Thursday, Nov. 21 Lincoln County Community (Noon – 6 p.m.) Alice Lloyd College (9 a.m. – 3 p.m.) Knox County Community (Noon – 6 p.m.)

Friday, Nov. 22 Personnel Cabinet (8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.) Lynn Camp Schools (9 a.m. – 2 p.m.) 

To register specific campus appointment times and locations or for more information, visit Walk-ins are welcome. 

Established by the two community nonprofit blood centers in 1987, the blood drive assures a sufficient blood supply for the upcoming holiday season in both communities. UK leads the rivalry 17 to 13 with one tie. Last year, the University of Tennessee had 3,057 donors to UK’s 2,739. 

As a thank you for saving a life, UK donors will receive a limited-edition long-sleeved Big Blue Crush T-shirt (link to image), a McDonald’s coupon, and a chance to win a four-pack of lower-level tickets to the UK-Louisville football game on Nov. 30 at Kroger Field. Donors at the drives listed on campus will also receive a $5 Starbucks gift card.

“Big Blue Crush is extremely important to the Kentucky Blood Center,” said Martha Osborne, vice president of marketing for KBC. “Of course, we are motivated to win because of our rivalry with Tennessee, but certainly because of the impact the drive has on our holiday blood supply. Both blood centers rely on this drive to establish a healthy blood supply for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and beyond. We hope more fans than ever before will roll up their sleeves for this year’s Crush competition.”

Blood donors must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with parental consent); weigh at least 110 pounds; be in general good health; show a photo ID; and meet additional requirements. Sixteen-year-old donors must have a signed parental permission slip, which can be found at

Walk-ins are welcome. To schedule a donation or find other donation locations, visit, or call 800-775-2522.

Celebrating more than 50 years of saving lives in Kentucky, KBC is the largest independent, full-service, nonprofit blood center in Kentucky. Licensed by the FDA, KBC’s sole purpose is to collect, process and distribute blood for patients in Kentucky. KBC provides services in 90 Kentucky counties and has donor centers in Lexington, Louisville, Pikeville and Somerset.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.