HIGH POINT, N.C., Dec. 2, 2011 – Megan Kurtzman, a junior at High Point University, has a lot to celebrate these days. Kurtzman challenged the campus to get involved in a cause near and dear to her heart – the Donate for Life Campus Challenge – and the HPU community answered her call. They won with 500 new organ donors – beating out other large schools in the challenge such as East Carolina University.
But winning the challenge isn’t all Kurtzman is celebrating. More importantly, she’s celebrating the fact that she’s keeping her friend’s memory alive by keeping organ donation in everyone’s thoughts.
Kurtzman teamed up with the Carolina Donor Services to host the organ donation drive in November in honor of her childhood friend, Heather Ann Ricci, who lost her life 10 years ago in a car wreck. Ricci’s parents were able to save five other lives by donating her heart, lung, liver and both kidneys. The goal of the competition was to get as many people as possible to pledge to become organ donors in North Carolina, and to become the school with the most registered organ donors.
HPU students participated in a variety of ways. They signed the pledge at stations around campus or online. They also attended a showing of “Seven Pounds in the Extraordinaire Cinema. Following the movie, they met and heard the personal story of Brian Avery, the boy whom received Ricci’s heart.
“The concept is simple – it’s about giving the gift of life,” says Kurtzman. “If it wasn’t for my friend Heather’s organs, five other people wouldn’t be here today.”
HPU will receive an award for winning the challenge in early 2012.
At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people.℠ HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with over 4,200 undergraduate and graduate students from 51 countries and 46 states at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by US News and World Report at No. 3 among Regional Colleges in the South. Forbes.com ranks HPU in the top 7 percent among “America’s Best Colleges.” Parade Magazine lists HPU in the top 25 private schools in the nation. HPU was selected in the 2010-2011 list of “Colleges of Distinction,” as well as one of the top green schools in the country by the Sierra Club. The university offers 50 undergraduate majors, 43 undergraduate minors and 10 graduate degree programs. It is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the Web at highpoint.edu.
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