Campus News

Kentucky Wins Big Blue Crush

logo that says 32nd Annual Big Blue Crush Blood Drive

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 26, 2019)  University of Kentucky fans can claim a life-saving victory.

On Friday, the last day of the annual Big Blue Crush blood-donor battle, University of Kentucky fans closed out with an impressive 651 donations to the University of Tennessee’s 416, locking in a victory for UK.

Kentucky supporters’ final score of 2,894 donations for the Kentucky Blood Center outpaced Tennessee’s 1,999 for Medic Regional Blood Center in Knoxville. The winning total for Kentucky was the highest since 2014.

Kentucky now leads the rivalry 18 to 13 with one tie. Kentucky had won eight in a row, until Tennessee took the trophy in 2018. 

“Thanks to our generous blood donors who gave us a really strong finish, we’re bringing the trophy back to Kentucky,” said Martha Osborne, vice president of marketing for Kentucky Blood Center. “Thank you to everyone who came out to donate (last) week. Thanks to the Big Blue Crush, countless lives will be saved this holiday season.”

Osborne added that campus drives were “up tremendously” from past drives on campus.

“Every drive on campus did very well. We have seen good numbers at our donor centers, but if I had to say what the biggest difference was (this year), I’d point to the campus donors who came out and rolled up their sleeves,” she said.

Big Blue Crush ensures an adequate blood supply for the Thanksgiving holiday and into December.

Donors can still impact the holiday blood supply. To find a donation location or schedule an appointment, visit or call 800-775-2522.

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.