The many faces of the Rock

We photographed the Rock every time it was painted this spring. Well, almost.

Students slathered the Rock with its first coat of paint back in the 1950s. Since then, painting the Rock with slogans, announcements and events has been one of Northwestern’s most well-known traditions. It was gifted to the University in 1902 and used as a drinking fountain until its pipes froze in the 1930s. According to a Daily Northwestern article from 1989, school officials moved the Rock from its original home, cracking it halfway up the bottom in the process. But lucky for you and all the student groups you’re in, the pieces were repaired shortly after and are always ready for the next coat of Northwestern pride. The pictures are organized chronologically, but use the filters to find more specific images.

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Painted by: Real Food at NU

Date painted: March 30

Why it was painted: To raise awareness and get petitions signed.

Painted by: Northwestern College Feminists

Date painted: April 6

Why it was painted: For Sex Week 2015. There were a lot of dildos.

Painted by: Rainbow Alliance

Date painted: April 17

Why it was painted: To announce Spring Speaker Laverne Cox.

Painted by: Men's and women's Northwestern Club Ultimate Frisbee Teams

Date painted: April 18

Why it was painted: To pump up the team for a tournament the following weekend.

Painted by: Students for Sustainable Drug Policy 

Date painted: April 20

Why it was painted: Seems like 4/20 is important for something? We don't really know.

Painted by: Waa-Mu

Date painted: April 21

Why it was painted: To promote "GOLD: THE 1936 BERLIN OLYMPICS," the 84th annual Waa-Mu show which premiered on May 1.

Painted by: Eco-Reps

Date painted: April 22

Why it was painted: For Earth Day.

Painted by: Northwestern College Feminists

Date painted: April 23

Why it was painted: For the annual event Take Back the Night which honors survivors of sexual violence.

Painted by: Raman Michael

Date painted: April 26

Why it was painted: To honor the 100-year anniversary of the Assyrian genocide.

Painted by: Chi Omega

Date painted: May 1

Why it was painted: For their annual philanthropy event ChiOmerica.

Painted by: Kaibigan

Date painted: May 6

Why it was painted: For Pinoy Show 2015, an event celebrating Filipino culture.

Painted by: Kappa Delta

Date painted: May 8

Why it was painted: For its annual philanthropy event Kardboard Regatta.

Painted by: Zeta Tau Alpha

Date painted: May 10

Why it was painted: For its annual philanthropy event Light the Way.

Painted by: NU's Got Talent

Date painted: May 10

Why it was painted: For the annual talent show that benefits Special Olympics.

Painted by: Northwestern Students for Life

Date painted: May 12

Why it was painted: For its week-long festival that celebrates all things that make life special, in support of support of its pro-life platform.

Painted by: Relay for Life

Date painted: May 13

Why it was painted: For the annual fundraising event for cancer awareness and research that took place that weekend.

Painted by: Northwestern University in Qatar

Date painted: May 14

Why it was painted: To welcome students from NU-Q who were visiting the Evanston campus that week.

Painted by: Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI)

Date painted: May 16

Why it was painted: For its philanthropy event, FIJI Island.

Painted by: Habitat for Humanity

Date painted: May 18

Why it was painted: For its annual Act! Speak! Build! philanthropy event.

Painted by: Sailing Team

Date painted: May 19

Why it was painted: For its annual event Sail with a Sailor.

Painted by: Sheil Catholic Center

Date painted: May 20

Why it was painted: To promote the Catholic Student Association.

Painted by: Alpha Phi Omega

Date painted: May 21

Why it was painted: To bond and promote the service fraternity.

Painted by: BoxCo

Date painted: May 22

Why it was painted: To promote its end of the year storage services.

Painted by: Delta Chi

Date painted: May 26

Why it was painted: For its annual philanthropy event Delta Chi Movers.

Painted by: Lovers & Madmen

Date painted: May 27

Why it was painted: To promote their show Treasure Island, which they performed at the Rock May 28-29.

Painted by: Panini Players

Date painted: May 29

Why it was painted: To promote its spring show The Wrong Baby, which premieres June 6 in Harris Hall.

Source: University Archives

Photos: Ashley Wu, Nick Garbaty, Madhuri Sathish, Cameron Averill, Nicole Zhu, Kristin Zubritzky, Jessica Hoffman, Hayley Hu, Rosalie Chan, Clemence Manzon and Vickie Li

Additions or corrections? Email ashleywu2016@u.northwestern.edu.

Note: This is not a comprehensive list. The Rock may have been painted in other ways over the quarter.