Spirit Rock 2.0: Campus Landmark Grows, Multiplies

New Version Installed in Mall After Predecessor's Successful Spring Debut

Sept. 23, 2008

The recently started UT Dallas Spirit Rock tradition has already received a major revamp.

The rock has been replaced by what Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Darrelene Rachavong calls the “UT Dallas Spirit Rock Garden,” which includes a main Spirit Rock that is more than twice as large as the original and two smaller rocks placed elegantly behind it.

All three rocks come from a limestone quarry near Jarrell, Texas, and weigh a grand total of 12 tons with the main rock weighing 6 tons and the two smaller rocks weighing a combined 6 tons.

According to Dr. Rachavong, it was always the plan to replace the original spirit rock with this new larger rock. She said that the old rock was too small and was put in last year only as a way of giving last year’s Student Government its own special legacy at UT Dallas.

The original spirit rock, shown as it appeared several weeks before the school year, made its debut in the spring.

The original plan for the new rock garden was to allow students to paint only on the primary rock, but before any official announcement could be made, students had already begun painting all three rocks. The policy has been changed to allow for all three rocks to be painted.

Over this past summer Dr. Michael Coleman, dean of undergraduate studies, searched through the Texas Hill Country for potential spirit rocks before choosing the current spirit rock. Dr. Coleman headed the project and closely supervised and coordinated the installation of the rocks.

“He really deserves all the credit,” said Dr. Rachavong. “He did all the hard work.”

As far as the old spirit rock is concerned, it currently resides within the Facilities Management building and plans for its future are uncertain.

Students wishing to paint any of the new Spirit Rocks must follow the policies and guidelines which are posted on a sign by the rocks and at http://www.utdallas.edu/student/sg/spiritrock/.

Media Contacts: Jenni Huffenberger, UT Dallas, (972) 883-4431, jennib@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu

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Above: In its incarnation Monday morning, the spirit rock’s north side included an artistic interpretation of the UT Dallas logo.

Below: A painter's work turned the rock’s south side into a boulder-sized birthday card.

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