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Volunteers Give UCR “C” its Annual Makeover

Volunteers Give UCR's “C” its Annual Makeover

Group Treks Up the Hill to Sweep and Paint Campus Icon

(October 21, 2011)

After nearly three hours of work, the volunteers pose with the freshly painted Enlarge

After nearly three hours of work, the volunteers pose with the freshly painted "C".

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( – Thanks to the hard work of a group of dedicated volunteers, the venerable “C” on the Box Springs Mountains that overlooks the UC Riverside campus is once again ready for its close-up.

On Saturday, October 15, about a dozen volunteers, including members of the Student Alumni Association, made the trip up the hill with brooms, rollers and ten gallons of bright yellow paint to give the campus icon its annual makeover. The long-scheduled event came just a day after a group used it to protest against the rising cost of a college education.

With Physical Plant painter Javier Pulido overseeing the work, one group of students swept away a year’s worth of dirt and grime to prep it for painting, while a second crew followed with rollers of the bright yellow paint. Some other students, upon seeing the work being done, hiked up the hill to participate as well.

“Kids who weren’t sweeping or painting picked up trash,” said Paul Ditty, paint shop supervisor for Physical Plant.

It took about two-and-a-half hours to complete the work according to Calvin Ericson, a fifth-year statistics major and past external relations director for the Student Alumni Association who was the main student organizer for the project.

Paint and supplies were paid for by the Division of Student Affairs through the Office of Student Life, but Assistant Dean of Students Tonantzin Oseguera said the kudos go to the volunteers.

“The students really deserve the credit,” Oseguera said. “They want to go up once a quarter and really want to make it their own.”

Ericson said that keeping the “C” beautiful is a point of pride and that he would love to see it feature a variety of paint jobs throughout the year.
“When I looked up at the ‘C,’ I always thought there would be more colors than just gold,” he said. “I want people, when they walk on campus, to look up and say ‘Whoa!’”

Though they weren’t asked to do so, some of the volunteers also removed the concrete minus sign that had been placed there Thursday night by protestors who identified themselves as “Students of CA” in protest of the rising cost of college.

“They didn’t have the right tools to remove it, but one of the students picked up a rock and started to break it up by hand,” Ditty said. “Soon other kids joined in and it was gone.”

Ericson said the next excursion to paint the “C” will take place in the days prior to Homecoming 2012, set for March 2-3, 2012. Those interested in participating can contact Kristin Seiler, director of student relations, at (951) 827-4511.

Completed in 1958, the huge concrete letter serves as a UCR landmark, overlooking the campus. At 132 feet long and 70 feet wide, the C is the largest concrete block letter in the UC system.
Volunteers use rollers to apply the yellow paint to the Enlarge

Volunteers use rollers to apply the yellow paint to the "C".

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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