Memphis- Theta Pi chapter of Alpha Xi Delta at Christian Brothers University (CBU) will join the global community of Light It Up Blue by lighting the University’s recognizable bell tower on East Parkway blue on Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2 in honor of the fourth annual United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day.
Light It Up Blue was started in 2008 by Autism Speaks to raise awareness of autism, which affects 1 in 110 American children and 1 in 70 boys, making it more common than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and pediatric AIDS combined. An estimated 1.5 million individuals in the U.S. and tens of millions worldwide are affected by autism.
“CBU is honored to join this worldwide cause by lighting our campus bell tower blue,” stated Dr. John Smarrelli, president of CBU. “We hope that this visible sign to the community will raise awareness and contribute to the prevention, treatment and cures for autism.”
CBU will join a prestigious list of participants for World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, including the Memphis Grizzlies, the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Sacred Heart University, UNC Chapel Hill, Fairfield University, St. John’s University and Palm Beach Atlantic University. In addition, by lighting its bell tower blue, CBU joins notable landmarks around the world, the Empire State Building in New York City, Sydney Opera House in Australia and Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to name a few.
Autism Speaks is the world’s largest autism advocacy organization. Begun in 2005, Autism Speaks has worked to raise funds to uncover causes, prevention, treatment and cures for autism. The organization has worked to get autism insurance legislation passed in 21 states and an additional 23 states have legislation pending. They have also created a social networking site for those interested in their cause and who are personally affected by autism.