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Painting the 'A' - a Tradition Since 1923

August 2013

Painting an 'A' that is 450 feet high and 210 feet wide is no small chore, but Colorado State University students have always been up to the task.

Our tradition of painting the 'A' white began in 1923 and it continues as a tradition today - thanks to the Student Alumni Associates, the College of Agricultural Sciences, and members of the freshman football team.

About the 'A'

  • The 'A' stands for Aggies, in honor of the University's former name (Colorado State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts).
  • Construction of the first 'A' took place December 12, 1923. It took six hours to complete. The following fall the dimensions were expanded to its current size of 450 feet high by 210 feet wide.
  • The land used to construct the 'A' was leased to the University on a long-term basis for $1.
  • The 'A' serves as an aerial landmark - pilots can see it from as far as 60 miles out.
  • During Ram Welcome, freshman hike to the 'A' and leave a small white pebble as a symbol of the impact she/he will have on the University.
  • The 'A' is painted with non-toxic white paint that is checked and deemed environmentally sound by CSU's Environmental Health Services department.

© 2012 Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523 USA  |  T.O.P.S.