Turning 100 years old this year, the “M” landmark on Mount Baldy will be receiving new stone and a fresh coat of paint to commemorate its birthday. Started in 1915 and completed by the following spring, the M was first constructed by about 60 students from the class of 1918 who wished to leave behind a monument for the university. Since then, the “M” has been an icon for both MSU and the City of Bozeman.
Dean of Students Matthew Caires spoke to the value of the tradition of the “M”: “Having our students become part of the long-standing tradition of maintaining the “M” is just one of the ways we further their affinity of Bozeman as their home.”
Even with grassroots beginnings, the “M” will receive special treatment during its 100 year facelift. Crews will work on the morning of Sept. 18 to bring in four tons of stone to the monument by helicopter to cover spot on the monument that have been worn down to dirt. After the initial drop, work will begin to move the stone to the center of the monument where years of erosion have caused bare ground to show through.
Once stone is in place, the 100 students signed up through the Office of Activities and Engagement will repaint the monument in part of the annual “Rock’n the ‘M’” event on Sept. 19. The refurbishment of the the “M” will kick off the 2015 Homecoming week, ending in the homecoming parade and football game the following Saturday. “100 years of the College ‘M’” is homecoming’s theme this year.