SUNY Plaza “Shines the Light” for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October 1, 2014

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

The SUNY Plaza flood lights that shine on the face on the building will be tinted purple every Monday through Friday night.

“It is our hope that by illuminating SUNY Plaza in the color purple this month, it can serve as a beacon for the city and increase public awareness about the dangers of domestic violence and remind victims that support is available,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “SUNY is proud to participate in the ‘Shine the Light’ campaign in downtown Albany and at our 64 campuses throughout New York as we take a united stand against domestic violence.”

Help is available for all victims of domestic abuse. The NYS Domestic and Sexual Abuse Hotline (800-942-6906) responds to and is a resource for victims of domestic and sexual violence, concerned others and professionals, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The hotline provides trained counselors who respond to a variety of service needs, including: crisis intervention, supportive counseling, information and referral services, and technical support to providers. 

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.

In alignment with SUNY’s strategic planning commitment to improving the vibrancy of New York’s communities across the state, Chancellor Zimpher opened SUNY Plaza to the public, with the announcement that a year-round Farmers’ Market would be held on site every Thursday afternoon. During inclement weather and the winter months, the market will be held inside System Administration’s first floor gallery, where artwork by SUNY students is always on display.

SUNY’s downtown footprint has never been larger. In addition to the SUNY Plaza complex, which includes System Administration, the Research Foundation, and Charter Schools Institute on Broadway, SUNY’s Rockefeller Institute of Government is just up the hill, and SUNY Poly, formerly the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, recently acquired and is revitalizing Kiernan Plaza.

This is OPDV’s seventh 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.

OPDV has also designated Oct. 15 as the date to “Turn the State Purple,” and is encouraging all New Yorkers to wear purple that day. 

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, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three 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 opportunities, visit

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