The tower at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field was lit blue Thursday night and into Friday morning to honor health care workers, first responders and all other essential workers keeping communities fed, protected and functional during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this month, messages honoring the front-line workers lit up Autzen Stadium, Jane Sanders Stadium and Matthew Knight Arena.
Thursday’s lighting at Hayward marked the first nontest lighting of the tower. The landmark honors history but also inspires greatness, said Robert Johnson, the UO’s head track coach. Graphics on the tower feature iconic images of legendary innovator and former UO head track coach Bill Bowerman, as well UO greats Steve Prefontaine, Raevyn Rogers, Ashton Eaton and Otis Davis.
“Hayward Field has long inspired greatness extending well beyond events on the track,” Johnson said. “It’s very fitting that we light the tower to salute the world’s health care and other essential workers. They are true heroes.”