TAMU-CC Partners with Coastal Bend Blood Center to Launch Collegiate Hero Program

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Every two seconds, someone in the United States requires life-saving donated blood or platelets. To meet this need, the Coastal Bend Blood Center (CBBC) has partnered with Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi to turn Islanders into Collegiate Heroes. The program was launched on Aug. 29 with an on-campus blood drive. 

The Collegiate Hero program encourages Islanders to donate life-saving blood to help bolster the local blood supply. In return, students who participate in the program twice per year will be recognized by earning a Medal of Merit to wear with their cap and gown at commencement.

“Islander students are committed to improving the lives of others. With this partnership, they actually become lifesavers,” said Dr. Clarenda Phillips, TAMU-CC Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “I cannot wait to see our Islanders walk across the stage at commencement with the Collegiate Heroes medal around their neck, showing the world that they care about the communities that have supported them throughout their academic careers.”

According to Ashley Ramirez ’08, CBBC Community Outreach and Education Coordinator, the Collegiate Hero program developed as a natural progression from the High School Hero and Red Cord programs already in place with area high schools. These high school programs account for 30% of the total donations in the region, but in the summer months, blood bank supplies dip dangerously low.

 “As an alumnus of TAMU-CC, I knew I wanted to get something started on the Island from the day I started working at the Coastal Bend Blood Center,” Ramirez said. “So, I am thrilled that we are launching the Collegiate Hero program in partnership with the Island University.”

Blood donations received by the CBBC serves 22 medical facilities in 10 counties across the Coastal Bend. The CBBC receives as much as 85% of its donations from its bloodmobiles, and these donations are used to meet various medical needs, including patients with leukemia, hemophelia, or cancer, or accident victims. The CBBC reports that just one donation has the potential to save up to three lives.

 “The Coastal Bend Blood Center is thrilled to launch the Collegiate Hero Program with our first college, TAMU-CC.” said Corey Survant ‘05, CBBC President and CEO. “Blood is needed every day throughout our community.  This program directly impacts the Coastal Bend community’s blood supply and helps support our lifesaving mission.”

The CBBC has seen success in their TAMU-CC blood drives in the past, receiving as many as 60 donations from a single visit to campus. Holly Davis ’24, a TAMU-CC biomedical sciences major, said that donating blood is a family tradition.

“My grandfather donated over seven gallons of blood during his lifetime and saved so many lives while doing so,” Davis said. “Also, I have been able to witness firsthand the power of a single blood donation during my recent work in an emergency room. I saw a trauma patient be stabilized after receiving eight units of blood. That blood saved their life, and really made me realize how important each and every donation is.”

TAMU-CC is the first institution of higher education to launch the Collegiate Hero Program, but the CBBC has plans to extend this program to other local and regional college campuses in the future.

For a list of all upcoming TAMU-CC blood drive dates, visit https://bit.ly/TAMUCCFall2022