M Hill

MHIll2

M Hill continues to be one of the most notable landmarks in Rapid City and intrinsically linked to the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology.

Located next to downtown Rapid City, M Hill features a 112.5-foot-tall by 67-foot-wide M representing SD Mines. Lit at night, the M can be seen from several miles away.

The story of the M started in 1912, when faculty and students at SD Mines added it to the hill to draw attention to the university. Using horses to carry more than 100 wagonloads of rock up the hill, students were given the day off from class to create the M. Ten years later, the stones were replaced with concrete, and in 1953, the S and D letters on either side of the M were added by seniors from Mines.

MHill3 The M plays a colorful role during SD Mines’ homecoming activities. Starting with a president’s breakfast with freshmen, the group then hikes up M Hill to “clean” the M. The students whitewash the M, often using their bodies at paintbrushes, slipping and sliding down the letter. The activity has become legendary, both on campus and off, for its raucous fun.

In addition, each year since 1922, the graduating class from Mines has added a commemorative plaque listing the graduates’ names and their majors. The SD Mines Alumni Association also hosts an all-school reunion every five years, adding additional plaques to the landmark.

Check out the webcam on M Hill here.