It started as a freshman prank in 1913 and has become one of the University’s greatest traditions.
One of the largest collegiate letters in the nation, standing 415 feet tall and 275 feet wide, it is the emblem that shines afar in our alma mater. For many years, freshmen were “required” by the seniors to clear the overgrown brush around it so that it could be lit for Homecoming and viewed from Ad Hill, a memory many alumni still talk of fondly.
During the ‘60s and ‘70s the “R” was neglected, and the outline was barely visible. But in 1984, more than 70 years after the first group of freshmen made their trek up the hill, freshman Greg Horn ’87 spearheaded a massive effort to restore the “R” to its original glory. After 21 treks, he finished his task just before graduation.
In 2007, to commemorate the university’s centennial, Scott Lacy ’90 led a successful effort to secure approval from the Forest Service to light the massive emblem once more.
Today, our alumni, students, employees and friends faithfully make the annual maintenance trek. Why don’t you join us? Please contact us if you are interested in joining the next hike.