Blue Out: One Promise
One Team. One School. One Heart. One Promise.
The Penn State family remains dedicated to making things right.
In addition to wearing blue (the nationally-recognized color of child abuse prevention) on September 21, 2013, this year’s student Blue Out organizers ask for your help in creating a stronger community and preventing future injustices.
Please make (and share) one personal promise that affirms your commitment to altruism. Together, we will see the power of individual resolutions multiplied on a grand scale.
Together, we will show the world what Penn State truly represents.
Blue Out History
The first and largest public response to the Sandusky/Penn State scandal was founded by two students. Laura March, a dual-degree graduate student in Art Education and Instructional Systems/Learning, Design & Technology, and Stuart Shapiro, a first-year student in the MBA program, started the movement to “Blue Out” Beaver Stadium for the Penn State Football game against Nebraska on Nov. 12, 2011. March and Shapiro campaigned to have all fans wear blue, the color of ribbons displayed in support of child abuse awareness.
The idea originated just six days before the game, when Shapiro brought the news of Jerry Sandusky’s child sex abuse charges to March’s attention. Previously she had taken “Arts Across the Curriculum,” a course created by Dr. Kimberly Powell, which stressed how art and visual culture can foster positive social interactions. March looked up the awareness ribbon color for child abuse prevention and realized its potential significance. March and Shapiro began utilizing new and social media as well as traditional outlets to spread the idea. They combined forces with Therese Jones, a Penn State alum now studying at UC Berkley, who created a Facebook event page for the game. March also approached McClanahan’s (a local apparel store) and designed a Blue Out t-shirt, which they sold and donated all proceeds to charity. In total, $47,000 was raised for charity in 2011 — $25,000 was donated by McLanahan’s to Prevent Child Abuse PA, and $22,000 was collected at the game through canning and split between Prevent Child Abuse PA and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR).
Other students and members of the Penn State community formed groups dedicated to child abuse/rape prevention shortly thereafter. Stuart and Laura began working with One Heart to continue to provide activism support. The second Blue Out event took place September 22, 2012 and raised $79,056 in donations for PCAR. Laura designed a 2012-specific t-shirt that was sold at university bookstores on all Penn State campuses, the Family Clothesline, Neebo, and Lion’s Pride that raised $65,565. Penn State student and cheerleader Ally Zimmerman created unique Blue Out sunglasses and sold them through her company, State Shades, and collected $370 in donations. PCAR initiated a text-to-donate campaign that raised $250. One Heart members canned at the stadium on game day and raised $12,871. Laura and Stuart graduated in May 2012, and turned over all Blue Out responsibilities to One Heart. The group elected Tori Smith, a rising junior Finance major, as Blue Out Chair.
One Heart and the new Blue Out leadership are pleased to announce a third Blue Out event scheduled for September 21, 2013. Please visit the rest of this site for more information.
An extended version can be viewed at the School of Visual Arts’ Arts Word.
Stadium flyover image from Kevin P. Coughlin/Flying Dog Photos