Historic SUNY Plaza Building Goes Purple for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

September 27, 2012

Albany – State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher today announced that the SUNY Plaza building in downtown Albany will be lit with purple lights again this year, for the entire month of October, as part of the NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV) “Shine the Light on Domestic Violence” campaign.

“SUNY is proud to participate in the ‘Shine the Light’ awareness campaign in downtown Albany and at our 64 campuses throughout New York State,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “We are pleased to join the hundreds of agencies, businesses, and individuals who are taking a stand against domestic violence again this October and throughout the year.”

Gwen Wright, Acting Executive Director of the NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence said, “We are very pleased that the State University of New York is once again shining a purple light on the beautiful SUNY Plaza building. We know that it generated a lot of attention and discussion last year. Getting people talking about domestic violence is a critical step in the fight against this heinous behavior. The SUNY Plaza will again serve as a beacon in the darkness, shining the light on domestic violence.”

SUNY Plaza, formerly the Delaware & Hudson Railroad Building, was built in the early 1900s when it was determined that an attractive plaza and surrounding buildings would be a preferred backdrop for the State Street neighborhood, instead of the large railroad yard, passenger and freight trains, and railroad bridge that bordered the waterfront. The central tower of SUNY Plaza is 13 stories high and capped by an 8-foot-tall working weathervane that is a replica of Henry Hudson's Half Moon.

The SUNY Plaza flood lights that shine on the face on the building will be tinted purple every Monday through Friday night in the month of October, beginning Monday, October 1.

In addition to participation at SUNY System Administration, many of the SUNY campuses across New York will also raise awareness for domestic violence in the month of October, including:

  • Schenectady County Community College held a “You don’t have to be hit to be hurt” program Sept. 17, to help participants assess the health of their relationships.
  • Onondaga Community College will include a “Shine the Light on Domestic Violence” message in its electronic sign rotation at campus entrances, during which standard lighting will change to purple.
  • At Herkimer County Community College, survivors of domestic violence and others affected by it are invited to express their thoughts through artwork, by making t-shirts in the College Center during the first two weeks of October. The shirts will be displayed on campus October 15-17 through the Clothesline Project. Additionally, Domestic Violence of Herkimer County will be on-campus with information tables on several dates during the month of October.
  • Farmingdale State College will provide purple ribbons for all who wish to show support, and distribute Information about prevention. On October 30, there will be a presentation by Toni Calabrese, coordinator of educational services at the Suffolk County Coalition of Domestic Violence. At the presentation, there will be a collection box for used cell phones to be donated to Verizon’s Hopeline.
  • On October 10, Fashion Institute of Technology students will acknowledge “Take Back the Night” by walking the length of campus to the college dining hall, where they will view a film and hear from guest speakers on the importance of support and strength for those who are victims of domestic violence. Throughout the month, tables will be staffed by students who will provide purple ribbons, information, and educational materials.  
  • At Downstate Medical Center, purple decals containing the Downstate logo and proclaiming "October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month," will be applied to the campus's entrance doors. Hundreds of photos of staff wearing purple will be posted on the first floor of Downstate's administration and research building.
  • Fulton-Montgomery Community College has the following events scheduled: Oct. 10 - Catholic Charities representative Ginger Cato will participate in FM’s weekly “Books and Bytes Session” where grape soda and purple cupcakes will be served during a “Purple Party;” Oct. 17- During Common Hour (12-1pm), Cato will present a “Domestic Violence 101” speech; Oct. 19 – a movie about domestic violence will be shown in the College Theatre; and Oct. 15-19, there will be a display of the “Domestic Violence Shirt Clothes Line.”
  • SUNY Oswego is hosting RAINN Day, a grassroots program designed to empower college students to raise awareness of sexual violence and recovery resources on campus, sponsored by the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, today, Sept. 27, from 9 – 4 p.m. in the Academic Quad.
  • SUNY Empire State College will participate in the “Shine the Light on Domestic Violence” public awareness campaign by sharing resources from the state Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and encouraging the college community to wear the color purple Oct. 17.
  • Buffalo State College will be lighting Rockwell Hall in purple again this year, from Oct. 14-21.
  • SUNY Adirondack will be conducting a campus-wide collection for local shelters (basic necessities like toiletry items, sheets, towels, etc.) as part of Domestic Violence Prevention and Awareness Month.
  • On Oct. 16, the student activities center at Jefferson Community College is hosting a free educational program for students entitled “Domestic Violence 101”. The program is given in partnership with the Victims Assistance Center of Jefferson County.

This is OPDV’s fifth year to “Shine the Light on Domestic Violence” by turning the State purple. In the past, landmarks such as Niagara Falls, the Empire State Building, bridges, colleges, and statues were illuminated purple for a day, a week, or the entire month. In addition, main streets and public vehicles have been adorned with purple flags, and employees, hospital staff, and small business owners have dressed in purple or worn purple ribbons.

To create further awareness, OPDV has designated Oct. 17 as the date to “Turn the NYS Workforce Purple,” and is encouraging all New Yorkers to wear purple to work. 

Help is available for all victims of domestic abuse. Call OPDV at 1-800-942-6906 or visit the OPDV website for more information.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school and business in the state. In 2015–16, SUNY served nearly 1.3 million students, including nearly 600,000 in credit-bearing courses and programs and more than 700,000 through continuing education and community outreach programs. SUNY students and faculty across the state make significant contributions to research and discovery, resulting in nearly $1 billion of externally sponsored activity each year. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu.


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