The Goizueta Business School is hosting a blood drive in memory of Ted Rodgers, an associate professor of accounting who died on July 18 following a five-year-long battle with cancer. The drive will be in room W525 of the Goizueta Business School from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 23 and students can sign up using the sponsor code “emory”.
The blood drive was organized in collaboration with the American Red Cross by Professor Emeritus of Accounting Grace Pownall, Senior Associate Director of MBA Admissions Heather Holland, Senior Event Manager Emily Lawrence, Associate Professor in the Practice of Accounting Usha Rackliffe and Patrick Rodgers (22B), Ted Rodgers’ son. The Emory Red Cross Club, Beta Alpha Psi and the Interim Goizueta Business School Dean Karen Sedatole will also support the event.
Pownall said she felt moved to create the drive as tribute to Rodgers’ long battle with cancer, during which he suffered from aplastic anemia for three years and required numerous blood and plasma transfusions.
“We were all involved with him with his struggle against cancer and probably all thought that he would make it,” Pownall said. “But he didn’t, so we want to do something to honor his memory and support his family.”
Pownall said that the support from accounting faculty, students and the late professor’s family members have made the drive possible. Additionally, she said that the American Red Cross has been a major supporter of the drive due to the increased need for blood donations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The need for blood is critical because organizations that typically have blood drives fairly frequently have been unable to have them because of COVID,” Pownall said. “The need for blood continues, but the supply of blood is diminished, so the Red Cross is urgently supporting our blood drive.”
Patrick Rodgers said that the accounting department’s idea to create the event “touched” his heart.
“Giving blood can have an enormous impact on peoples’ lives,” Rodgers said. “In the same way that random strangers gave me extra time with my dad, if there’s any way I can give that to other people, I would want to.”
In an effort to advertise the event, Pownall said that organizers have sent out flyers to the MBA programs, the BBA program and the Master in Professional Accounting program, asking them to donate blood at the event.
“[The committee] really did amazing work getting the word out to alumni,” Patrick Rodgers said. “Alumni out in California have reached out and asked how they can help with the initiative, which I think is really amazing. They’re not even here, but they got the word and they want to help.”
Currently, all 57 of the donor openings are filled and the drive is looking to add more spots. Pownall said that they are waiting for the Red Cross to expand capacity and that their ultimate goal is to bring in 100 to 120 donors.
“We are looking for as many donors as we can get,” Patrick Rodgers said. “I know the Red Cross can expand their capacity to match how many people we have signed up, so I’d encourage anybody who’s interested in participating to sign up to give blood and help give time back.”
Patrick Rodgers hopes the blood drive can become an annual event so it can continue to touch the lives of cancer patients like his father, explaining, “While we can have a great impact right now, ultimately, the real impact comes from […] making this a recurring event so that we can continue to get the blood products that are critically needed by the Red Cross to the Red Cross.”