Bleed Maroon and Gold

‘A’ Mountain

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!


One Response to “‘A’ Mountain”

  1. […] ASU SAA jQuery.ajax({type:"GET",async:false,url:"",data:"cache_post_id=3164&cache_view_type=normal&cache_output_type=content",cache:false}); […]

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