ANN ARBOR — Showing that college rivalries can be used for social good, students across the state participated in the 12th annual Gift of Life Campus Challenge, encouraging classmates, alumni, faculty and others to join the Michigan Organ Donor Registry.
They added 1,556 new names to the Donor Registry, and two schools came out on top.
For the fourth year in a row, Wayne State University added more names than any other school, with 426. Siena Heights University recruited the most donor registrants compared to student population for the third year in a row and fifth time ever, with a score of 5.09 percent.
All of the participating schools recruited as many or more new donor registrants as they did the previous year. Multiple student groups at Central Michigan University worked together to inspire 191 new donor registrants.
Northern Michigan University motivated 10 times as many new donor registrants as last year. Grand Valley State University’s Sigma Pi fraternity joined the Campus Challenge in-progress and signed up 90 people in less than two weeks. Eastern Michigan University’s Health Administration Student Organization led the effort on campus for the first time, recruiting 100 people to become donors.
Michigan State University more than doubled the number of donors recruited last year, and Calvin College inspired registered almost twice as many people to donate life in this year’s competition.
The success of the Campus Challenge provides hope for the 3,413 Michigan residents waiting for a life-saving organ transplant, and tens of thousands more in need of tissue and cornea transplants.
Students hosted sign-up tables on campus, gave presentations to classmates and encouraged peers through social media posts. Alumni, faculty and other supporters also joined the donor registry to score a point for their school.
The Gift of Life Campus Challenge is the largest college-based organ donor drive in the nation and has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for its success. In its 12-year history, the competition has resulted in more than 36,000 people adding their names to the Michigan Organ Donor Registry.
Since 2007, Michigan residents who join the Donor Registry have a red heart symbol placed on the front of their driver’s license or state ID card. More than half of adults in Michigan have joined the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. Joining the Donor Registry takes less than a minute at www.giftoflifemichigan.org. Residents can also join by calling Gift of Life at 866-500-5801 or visiting any Secretary of State office.
EDITOR’S NOTE: A list of participating schools and their final scores (in a bar graph format) is available at giftoflifemichigan.org/campuschallenge or by contacting Gift of Life Michigan at 866-500-5801.