The Wright State University Nutter Center typically glows green and gold at night, but in April it has been bathed in blue in support of autism awareness.
Wright State has also added blue lights to the Student Union; White Hall, home of the Boonshoft School of Medicine; and both campus entrances along Colonel Glenn Highway in support of the campaign.
Lighting the buildings blue was the idea of Sydney Hendricks, a junior elementary education major at Wright State. Three years ago, she asked Wright State’s Facilities department to light prominent buildings on campus in blue at night to promote autism awareness.
“Even though this has been happening for three years, it never gets old for me,” said Hendricks. “I think it’s really heartwarming and touching.”
Hendricks’ passion for autism awareness comes from her younger brother and best friend Elijah, who is autistic. One of Hendricks’ first jobs was providing therapy for children with autism at her brother’s school. After graduation, she plans to teach preschool and help children with disabilities.
Hendricks says the blue lights on campus continue to touch the lives of people around Dayton who are blessed to have people with autism in their families.
Support for autism awareness also takes place throughout the Forest Ridge neighborhood in Riverside. This year, Hendricks passed out blue light bulbs to most of her neighbors so they can light up their porches.
Hendricks says she’ll continue to send an email every year to remind Wright State Facilities to Light It Up Blue.
“Every year they add more blue,” she said. “It keeps getting better and better.”