An old rock has a new look that has some Fort Collins residents
CSU and Wyoming students have painted the rock alongside Highway
287, between Fort Collins and Laramie, Wyo., for years, according
to Dereck Roberts, a Fort Collins native and CSU alumni.
“The painting on the rock reflects badly on CSU,” Roberts said.
“I am alumni, as is my father and my grandfather, and this rock is
Roberts, a real estate agent, said the rock reflects badly on
the area as well as the school. The Roberts family has owned a
ranch in the area since 1873.
“Some people are worried that the area has gang activity,”
Roberts said. “This rock as been a thorn in my side for some
According to Roberts, the rock as been known as “halfway rock”
since it’s located halfway between Fort Collins and Laramie. More
than 10 years ago the rock was part of the Kremmer Ranch, Roberts
said. He believed that during this time, the rock was taken better
care of. Roberts said now Northern Colorado Water Conservancy
District owns the land. NCWCD was unavailable for comment.
Roberts said after Sept. 11 someone painted an American Flag
onto the rock and it was very tastefully done.
“I didn’t mind the flag too much,” Roberts said. “But being a
purest, I would rather see the rock without any paint at all.”
The side of the rock visible from the highway shows the letters
of the fraternity Alpha Tau Omega amidst CSU logos and “Go Rams.”
Most of the profanity is written on the side of the rock not easily
visible from the road.
According to Justin Brady, the fraternity’s president, ATO has
been painting on the rock for years.
“It’s something we do with new members,” Brady said. “We say
it’s like putting a mark on Colorado, figuratively.”
Brady said the fraternity painted the rock Nov. 1, the same
Saturday of the Wyoming v. CSU game.
According to Roberts, a banner had been standing next to the
rock with an obscene drawing with the words “Ram the Cowboys.”
ATO claims they had nothing to do with the inappropriate
“We are not responsible (for the profanity),” said Ryan Miccio,
risk management officer for the fraternity. “(The painting) was all
in good fun and it was not meant to be malicious.”
The fraternity requires that an older member accompany the new
members taking part in the “tradition” according to Miccio.
“We want someone already established in the fraternity to go
with the new guys to ensure that (inappropriate) behavior doesn’t
take place,” Miccio said.
Since ATO has found out about the inappropriate writing
accompanying their fraternity letters on the rock, they have been
concerned about fixing this problem.
“We understand it’s upsetting and we’re upset,” Miccio said. “We
want to volunteer our services and correct this problem. We will go
up to the rock and paint over everything if we have to.”