UK Happenings

35th annual Big Blue Crush on UK campus Nov. 14-18

Donors can give at the Student Center Monday through Thursday and Buell Armory on Friday.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 11, 2022) — Big Blue Nation can underscore its unrivaled passion by showing up in big numbers Nov. 14-18 and defeating Tennessee in the 35th annual Big Blue Crush blood drive. All donations will stay local and help boost the blood supply for Kentuckians this Thanksgiving holiday.

Kentucky Blood Center will be on the University of Kentucky campus 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14, through Thursday, Nov. 17, in Gatton Student Center Ballroom A, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, at Buell Armory.

Donors can schedule their appointment in advance at or call 800-775-2522. Appointments are preferred but walk-ins are welcome.

Students, staff, faculty and more will receive a coupon for a free Qdoba entrée, a $5 Starbucks gift card, a Big Blue Crush long-sleeve shirt and entry for both a $250 Visa gift card and four tickets to the UK-University of Louisville football game on Nov. 26 at Kroger Field when they donate at one of the UK drives.  

Big Blue Crush is an annual competition between Kentucky Blood Center and Medic Regional Blood Center in Tennessee. It was established in 1988 to ensure blood is available for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. The need for blood traditionally increases during holidays while donations are in short supply.

Kentucky leads the friendly rivalry 19-14-1, but Tennessee denied a three-year winning streak last year with 2,361 donors to Kentucky’s 1,971.

Donations with KBC go directly to saving local patients in Kentucky. KBC services more than 70 hospitals in the Commonwealth and is the exclusive blood provider for UK HealthCare.

A healthy blood supply is critical to treating patients with cancer, providing support for surgeries, giving premature babies the gift of life, treating diseases such as sickle cell anemia, saving trauma patients and so much more. One trauma alone can require more than 100 units of blood, a serious strain on a supply that has tiptoed between a day’s supply or less for much of the last two-plus years.

Blood donors must be at least 17 years old (16 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

About Kentucky Blood Center

Celebrating 55 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, Frankfort, Pikeville, Somerset and the Tri-County area.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.