NORFOLK, Va. - Old Dominion University will be bathed in blue throughout the month of May.
Harry Minium writes that the university will light portions of its campus at the intersection of 43rd Street and Hampton Boulevard in blue each evening of the month to pay homage to those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Darden College of Education and Professional Studies building, as well as a signature ODU sign out front, will be illuminated in blue. Across Hampton Boulevard, the marquee of the Ted Constant Convocation Center will carry messages of support.
ODU joined the #LightItBlue campaign, which started in the United Kingdom to show gratitude and support for healthcare workers, first responders and other essential workers.
The campaign has since spread to other nations. The New York skyline, the waterfalls at Niagara Falls, Walt Disney theme parks, the National Cathedral in Washington and the City of Norfolk have all been illuminated in the color.
"We've been thinking about additional ways ODU could show its support for health-care workers, first responders and essential workers and this seemed like the ideal way," Lisa Jones, director of Branding & Marketing for the Office of Strategic Communication & Marketing, told Minium. Jones proposed and coordinated this effort with staff in Facilities Management and the Constant Center.
"Blue is one of our school colors. And ODU has so many connections to health care, from our nursing, physical therapy and other programs to our relationships with Eastern Virginia Medical School and Sentara Norfolk General," she explained.
There are a number of celebrations this month tied to honoring those working in healthcare: National Nurses Week (May 6-12), National Hospital Week (May 6-12), National Nursing Home Week (May 13-19), Women's Health Week (May 13-19) and Emergency Medical Services Week (May 20-26).
Kornblau Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium and the interior of Chartway Arena were also recently illuminated in blue as part of the campaign.