STEPHENVILLE (April 1) — Tarleton State University will observe World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, lighting up the beloved campus smokestack in purple light.
Tarleton originally planned to bathe the smokestack in blue light as part of its participation in Light It Up Blue, an annual effort promoted worldwide by Autism Speaks, which serves to shine a bright light on autism as a growing global health crisis.
Due to a technical difficulty resulting from the upgrading of the lights this year, blue lighting is not possible at this time and Tarleton will illuminate its smokestack in purple. The lighting serves to signify the importance of increasing knowledge of autism and to raise awareness about the importance of early diagnosis and early intervention.
Autism is one of only three health issues to be recognized with its own day by the United Nations, which adopted a resolution in 2007 to celebrate World Autism Awareness Day each year on April 2.
Last year, 300 colleges and universities participated in World Autism Awareness Day and Light It Up Blue, as did the crew of the International Space Station and thousands of public buildings, private businesses and homes in an effort to honor the millions of individuals and families around the world affected by autism.
Just before sunset on Thursday, April 2, the Tarleton smokestack’s usual white night lighting will go purple. Students and the public are encouraged to photograph the bathed-in-purple smokestack or take “selfies” with the Tarleton landmark and share their images on social media using the hashtag #LIUB to participate in the global autism awareness movement.
To learn more about Autism Speak and Light It Up Blue, visit www.autismspeaks.org/liub.