Painting rock M is one of Missouri's oldest traditions

Thursday, July 26, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CDT
MU students form a line to pass rocks from a truck in order to fill in empty spaces in the "M" at Memorial Stadium before it is painted in this Missourian file photo. It is a tradition that freshmen gather to paint the "M" in mid-August.

COLUMBIA — Each August, hundreds of incoming freshman take part in one of MU's oldest traditions — painting the rock M inside Memorial Stadium. 

The rock M was a gift from the freshman class of 1927, made from rocks leftover from the building of Memorial Stadium, which opened a year earlier.

It is 90 feet wide and 95 feet high and is situated in the middle of the hill by Faurot Field's north end zone.

This year, students will gather at the stadium in mid-August to help paint the rocks and prepare the stadium for the upcoming football season.

The Mizzou Alumni Association and the True Tiger organization help organize the event as a way for the incoming freshman to get to know each other and feel closer to Missouri athletics.

Last year, more than 500 students participated in the painting, which also includes repainting the tunnels and bleachers and shining the statue of Don Faurot at the stadium's main entrance.

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