“A” Mountain

Students painting "A" Mountain
"A" Mountain

The "A" on Tortugas Mountain is currently 300 feet tall and 80 feet wide.

Read more about "A" Mountain traditions here.


In the 1920s, several students made it a joke to leave “A”s on different buildings and structures throughout campus. In the early hours of March 31, 1920, these Aggie students decided to take it to the next level.

After reaching the top of Tortugas Mountain, just outside of campus, the students arranged a large “A” about 300 feet tall or roughly the size of a football field. The next day, April 1, students gathered at the base of the the newly formed “A” Mountain and began creating a line of students from the bottom to the top of the mountain, passing along old milk cans full of whitewash to paint the "A." The tradition soon developed to repaint the “A” each year on April, known as "A" Day. It is one of the oldest traditions at NMSU, and many of our alumni cherish this memory.

Today, the “A” is painted during Greek Week as the Greek Community’s Day of Service. The “A” is frequently lit up for various events and activities, including Aggie Welcome Week, Tough Enough to Wear Pink Week (our local breast cancer awareness campaign) and home sports games. This is one of the University's biggest landmarks that proudly displays to anyone who visits or returns to Las Cruces that this is home to the NMSU Aggies.