As most, if not all, of you know ‘A’ Mountain is the beloved hill located to the north of the Tempe campus and just west of Sun Devil Stadium. It is a great place for hiking, nature walks and picnics and is a very recognizable point of interest at ASU as well as in Tempe.
However, many people are unaware of its history or significance to the school and the city. Well, here a few interesting tidbits of information about its origins.
There has been a letter on ‘A’ Mountain for quite some time now (almost 81 years), although it hasn’t always been an ‘A.’ Way back, when Arizona State University was called Tempe Normal School, an ‘N’ was placed on the mountain, compliments of the class of 1918. Then, when Tempe Normal School turned into Tempe State Teacher’s College in 1925, the ‘N’ turned into a ‘T.’ The students who made this change actually kept one side of the ‘N’ to turn it into the stem of the ‘T.’ However, the letter had to be changed yet again when Tempe State Teacher’s College was renamed Arizona State Teacher’s College. In 1938, the now well-known letter ‘A’ was installed on the mountain, and would stay even through the name change to Arizona State College and finally to Arizona State University.
However, the ‘A’ built in 1938 is not the one that we look upon today. In 1952, a bomb went off, destroying the letter so it had to be rebuilt in 1955.
Today, the ‘A’ is 60 feet tall and built of concrete and steel. It has had quite a few coats of paint as a result of athletic competition and whitewashing, but remains gold as often as possible.
SAA is the only organization that has official access to the ‘A.’ We guard it from potential painters and whitewash it at the beginning of each year. If you would like to become more involved with ‘A’ activities, come to a SAA meeting or email Greg Mena at email@example.com!
Do you want to help your community?
Do you love ASU?
Why not combine the two? Join SAA in “serving” the ASU Community!
Once a month, SAA attends an athletic event for a sport that doesn’t draw as much attention as the more popular football and basketball teams. We go to gymnastics meets, baseball games, wrestling matches and everything in between! All ASU athletes deserve our love and support so help us cheer them on!
Our next “Community Service” activity will be on Sat, Feb 21. We are going to watch a pre-season ASU baseball game! They are playing Wisconsin-Milwaukee at 1 p.m. at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark. Come join us and watch our boys start off another fantastic season!
Join us next week (Feb. 4 and 5) from 11-1:30 on Cady Mall. The first 40 people will receive half-price memberships…that’s just $12.50 to become a member for a full year! Also, if you join at the booth you will be entered into a drawing to win an MP3 player!
Here are some perks of an SAA membership:
- Fun: Get involved with Oozeball, Whitewashing the ‘A,’ Finals study break and more!
- Leadership experience: Explore opportunities to develop leadership skills through planning events.
- Pride in keeping ASU traditions alive: Help ASU students celebrate and honor life-long signature events such as Homecoming and Lantern Walk.
- Discounts: Enjoy a variety of discounts including 10% off at the ASU bookstore and savings at Kaplan Test Prep.
Please stop by Cady Mall on Feb. 4 and 5 from 11-1:30 to check out our Spring Special, or at least say hi! We hope to see you all out there!
If you have any questions or concerns, contact Greg Mena at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment for me!
SAA (Student Alumni Association) is an offset of the Alumni Association geared exclusively toward current students. It is a volunteer organization with the purpose of getting students engaged in and involved with their school and encouraging Sun Devil Spirit. It helps maintain many ASU traditions and promotes pride in your school. Involvement in SAA, especially leadership positions, can also lead to professional breaks. A former SAA president was an event planner for one of the museums in Washington, D.C.!
There are a lot of activities SAA hosts and takes part in throughout the school year. Here’s a list of some of the major (i.e. most fun!) ones:
- Protecting the ‘A’ on Tempe Butte: This consists of keeping the ‘A’ gold. At times, especially when there is an upcoming sports game with UA, SAA members guard the ‘A’ to make sure it isn’t painted white or other unacceptable colors (like red or blue).
- Lantern Walk: To kick off Homecoming, SAA (as well as PAB) walks up Tempe Butte with Dr. Crow and stands around the ‘A’ holding candles and glow sticks. This is an old tradition that SAA has been a part of for many years.
- Homecoming: SAA builds a float and participates in the Homecoming Parade. It also ensures that everyone at ASU is proud to be a Sun Devil and is prepared to cheer the football team to victory at the Homecoming game.
- Passport: Passport to ASU takes place every fall to let incoming freshman know about the opportunities open to them at ASU. Clubs (including sororities, fraternities, intramural and club sports and music and theater clubs) set up booths in the MU and SRC and distribute information to prospective members.
- Old Main Study Break: Finals can be a source of frustration and stress for all students, so SAA gives you an opportunity to relax and enjoy yourself during that fateful week. One night, SAA hosts a study break in Old Main where students can mingle, play games or study.
- Beat UofA week: During the week leading up to the intense game with our rivals to the south, SAA promotes Sun Devil Pride and gathers support for the team.
- Mud Volleyball Tournament/Oozeball Tournament: Pretty self-explanatory, and tons of fun!
I hope that this helps you understand the purpose of SAA and some of the activities it is involved with. Spread the word around and visit us on Cady Mall next week, Feb. 4th and 5th! For more information, visit SAA’s website.
If you have any information to add, want to share your experiences or would like to give feedback please leave a comment!