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.
Click each rock for more information.
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: 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: This is not a comprehensive list. The Rock may have been painted in other ways over the quarter.