by Rima Thompson
Every university has its traditions, from Princeton University’s bonfires to the University of Southern California’s lynching of the UCLA mascot before the big game.
At the University of La Verne, where tradition persists, albeit with less intensity at times, students paint the Rock.
“When the original Rock was removed to start the Davenport construction, two students brought the current Rock by truck in the middle of the night and placed it where it is now,” said Al Clark, associate vice president of academic affairs.
Today, and for the last half-century, the Rock has been painted as a form of advertisement for sororities, fraternities, clubs, special announcements and, occasionally, a monument to deceased members of the community.
“I think it’s a way for students to express themselves, as organizations or as individuals,” said junior broadcasting major Callie Fikter. “It’s kind of our symbol here at ULV, you know, how we have ‘KULV The Rock.’ It reflects a bunch of stuff we do here.”
Some mystery still surrounds the Rock, such as the question of how big the Rock is and what happened to the real or original ULV Rock.
“Isn’t it like five feet or something?” asked sophomore psychology and criminology major Britney Conner. “I heard that they started out with a small Rock and it got bigger and bigger as they added more and more paint to it over the years.”
The Rock has grown over time, but by how much?
It depends on whom you ask.
“It used to be the size of a really, really big baby,” said senior speech communications major Dorothy Enrikquez. “And all the paint (made it bigger).”
There are a number of ULV students, such as senior English major Esther Frank, who know absolutely nothing about the Rock, despite its time-honored tradition at ULV.
When asked about its size, Frank replied: “I don’t know. It’s maybe an inch at the most.”
Others like senior broadcast major Tammy Rudin and freshmen Lenny Moore said that it is ridiculous to think coats of paint could make a baby-sized Rock grow to its current height of around five feet.
“Honestly, how naive can people be to think that a tiny Rock (became) a gigantic Rock because of all the paint?” Rudin asked.
Rudin said that her father, ULV alumnus Robert Rudin, was involved in a class prank in the late 1950s where they stole the Rock and buried it behind Miller Hall.
“My dad, his brother and a few friends of theirs were bored and thought it would be a funny joke to take the Rock that (Dwight) Hanawalt placed there,” Rudin said.
“They pulled a lot of pranks when they went to this school, and back then the Rock wasn’t as big of a deal as we make it today,” she said.