Back-to-back victories over Pomona College in 1914 and 1915 inspired football player and civil engineering student Albert H. Condron.
He went to one of his professors and suggested building an “A” in rocks on the side of Sentinel Peak as a class assignment.
Construction began on Nov. 13, 1915. It was completed on March 4, 1916.
The land was cleared and rocks were hauled up the mountain by six-horse teams.
Students worked week after week and the “A” was finally white-washed nearly four months after construction began. Total cost of the project? $397.
Sentinel Peak is now more commonly known as “A” Mountain.
In recent years the “A” has been painted red, white and blue – a show of school pride and patriotism.
Arizona State University has its own “A” Mountain and each year before the Duel in the Desert students try to paint the opposing school’s “A” in their own colors.
Every year, Homecoming Week starts with the lighting of the “A” on “A” Mountain.
Flares are placed around the “A” and are lit to celebrate the start of the week’s Homecoming festivities and events. Students, faculty, alumni and friends of the University gather atop the Main Gate Garage on campus to watch the lighting.