It was 1977 when Donna Gustafson joined Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology as a staff member in the student life area. Along with her regular work duties came the responsibility for coordinating campus blood drives, a role she didn’t take for a granted.
38 years and 28,222 units of blood later, Donna has made her mark.
“It’s the students,” said Donna. “Giving back is ingrained in the culture at Rose. It’s part of the holistic approach we take. We encourage students to adopt an “attitude of gratitude” and attempt to prepare them to be good stewards of the community,” she remarked.
Every 56 days, Rose-Hulman hosts a blood drive on campus because of Donna’s dedication to curbside community service and Indiana Blood Center’s lifesaving mission.
Wrangling college students to give an hour of time every few months is no easy feat. It takes creativity. “Competitions between residence halls with a pizza party for the winner works well,” said Donna. “But it’s the personal approach that works every time.”
With bittersweet emotions, Donna will retire on June 30. Her established success as a blood drive coordinator will live on, both through the philanthropic student body and her well-groomed successor, Kyle Rhodes. Kyle is a Rose-Hulman alumnus who helped coordinate campus blood drives as a student.
To Donna, Kyle, Rose administrators and students, it’s because of your commitment to our mission that makes more tomorrows possible for countless hospital patients. For that, we thank you.