CSU students and staff ventured to the â€œAâ€ on Saturday to repaint the iconic letter white. The 87-year-old tradition typically takes place in September but was scheduled in August this year in response to Homecomingâ€™s unusually early date.
Painting the â€œAâ€ has been a tradition at CSU since 1924, and has been done every year since the Aggies became the schoolâ€™s mascot. The â€œAâ€ has become such a prominent feature that it has even become an aviation landmark, according to Lindsay Sell, the assistant director for Student Advancement Programs.
â€œThe â€˜Aâ€™ is representative of our history as an institution and as an agricultural college,â€ Sell said. â€œWeâ€™re painting the same â€˜Aâ€™ they were painting in 1924, which I think is really cool.â€
The majority of the volunteers were freshmen from the College of Agricultural Sciences, the football team and Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
â€œItâ€™s open to anyone who wants to,â€ Sell said. â€œWe get a lot of first year students, but we get a fair amount of seniors too, who want it to check it off before they graduate.â€
The students worked in teams of six to 12 to operate pumps, hoses and sprayers to mist white paint over the vegetation within the red tape outlining the â€œA.â€
While lifting a 300-pound pump may seem like a chore, the task used to be more demanding.
â€œBack in the day, theyâ€™d come up to the base of the mountain. Theyâ€™d have a [paint] bucket brigade, and theyâ€™d come up with mops,â€ said Marshall Frasier, a volunteer from the Alumni Association. â€œYou know you hear about Tom Sawyer and white-washing fences, well, thatâ€™s what they did.â€
The paint used to cover the 450 by 210 foot landmark is watered down to be non-toxic.
Despite the hard work and temperatures of up to 89 degrees, volunteers still managed to have fun, talking and laughing and daubing goatees and war paint on their faces.
â€œIt just sounded like a good idea at the time,â€ said Ben Ott, a freshman horticulture major who assisted the second shift of volunteers on Saturday. â€œAnd I wanted to be a part of the tradition.â€
â€œPlus,â€ he added, with a nod to the scenic perspective of Fort Collins, â€œitâ€™s a hell of a view.â€
Collegian Writer Emily Kribs can be reached at email@example.com.