Sep 092010
Authors: Hannah Cornish

Dec. 4, 1923 marked the beginning of a tradition at CSU that is still living today.

Michelle Stout, student alumni connection president, says that the tradition of painting the Aggie “A” is continued in order “to represent our past.”

Painting the “A” is a cherished tradition at CSU that dates back to the university’s first years. Students have always been welcomed to be apart of this event, and some groups like red shirt freshman football players and members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity are always involved.

In the beginning, the majority of the students that helped out were men who carried buckets of paint up the side of a mountain calling it the “bucket brigade.”

Today, any and all students are welcome to join in on the fun.

On average, it takes about six hours to cover the giant “A –– 450 feet by 210 feet.

The letter “A” decorates the hillside just west of campus and, according to CSU’s “For-Ever-Green” book, CSU was formally called Colorado A&M, and students were called “Aggies.”

Kelsey Jarvis, a sophomore animal science major, explains that painting the relic is “a really good experience and tradition, and is a chance to meet new people.”

Stout agreed that students should get involved in this event because it’s a “great way to be apart of the tradition.”

The Student Alumni Connection collaborates with CSU alumnus Bill Woods and the College of Agricultural Sciences each year to put on the event.

The group sends out e-mails to try and involve students in this program, which is made up of three different shifts involving about 30 to 40 students. Transportation is provided and students can expect a once-in-a-lifetime experience, Stout said.

Most people who are involved in this event find it hard to just be apart of it once. Stout and Jarvis are both returning painters and make it apparent that the experience students can gain from this tradition is rare.

The “A” is not just a symbol of CSU’s former identity, it is also a landmark for planes and can just be something CSU alumni’s hold close to their heart.

The repainting of the “A” will take place Saturday and the three shifts are from 8:15 to 11 a.m., 10:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 12:15 to 3:30p.m. Students are welcome, and encouraged, to sign up for one or more shifts. To register visit or contact the Alumni Association at 970-491-6533.

Staff writer Hannah Cornish can be reached at

Paint the Aggie “A”

Repainting of the “A” will take place Saturday. Students are welcome and encouraged to sign up for one or more shifts.

The three shifts are:
*8:15 to 11:30 a.m.
*10:15 to 1:30 p.m.
*12:15 to 3:30 p.m.

To register, visit or contact the Alumni Association at 970-491-6533.

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