Mercyhurst tower lights up blue for autism


One of Erie’s iconic landmarks – the Mercyhurst University Old Main Tower – will be bathed in a blue light as the university joins with the international community in commemorating the United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day on Tuesday, April 2.

Organized by Autism Speaks, “Light It Up Blue” is a unique global initiative that kicks-off Autism Awareness Month. The Old Main Tower will light up blue at 8 p.m. Similar observances are planned at famous buildings around the world, including the Eiffel Tower (Paris), the Great Pyramid (Giza, Egypt) and Christ the Redeemer statue (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), as well as hotels, sporting venues, concert halls, museums, bridges and retail stores.    

Mercyhurst University is well known for its initiatives in serving the higher educational needs of students with learning and sensory disabilities through its 20-year-old Learning Differences Program. In 2008, Mercyhurst introduced what has become a hugely successful program – the Asperger Initiative at Mercyhurst  (AIM) – to meet the unique needs of the growing population of college students diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder.

“We are really excited to participate again this year in the Light It Up Blue campaign and be connected with all these fantastic partners and iconic structures,” said AIM Coordinator Brad McGarry. “On April 2 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Egan Dining Hall, we will be offering Mercyhurst students and staff the opportunity to pledge to the event and to honor a loved one or friend living with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.”  

Also, in anticipation of the evening event, Parkhurst Dining Services has planned a special lunch for Tuesday.

For more information, contact McGarry at; 814-824-2451.



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