Rocker Days keep traditions alive

Every year, students, faculty and alumni come together to celebrate Rocker Week.
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 8:07 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - SSouth Dakota School of Mines and Technology was founded in 1885, and after more than 100 years of homecomings, there are some traditions that are set in stone.

Every year, students, faculty, and alumni come together to celebrate Rocker Week.

“This has been steeped in tradition since the ‘M’ was put on the hill, a long long time ago. So it’s just a great opportunity to celebrate school spirit, and bring faculty, staff, students, and alumni together,” said Cory Headley, director of student engagement at Mines.

Rocker Week concludes with a hike up ‘M’ Hill, before the final celebration on Saturday.

“So when I come here, it’s almost like a mini family reunion when we have ‘M’ day. It’s really exciting because we have such a special community of alumni that really care and they want to give back to the school,” said former Mines student, Jacob West.

While some people enjoy just hiking up the hill, others want to get to the top for another reason.

“Honestly I just kinda like the walk up. You get to see a lot of people on the way up and talk to some people because it’s a decent hike,” said Colton Kaup, South Dakota Mines senior computer engineer.

“I really like watching the freshmen the first time they get the paint poured on them because it’s really a unique experience that you have no idea what’s going to happen until it happens,” said South Dakota Mines civil engineer senior, Eliza McCallum.

While some tend to look out for rattlesnakes on the trail, during Rocker Days, you might find some other unexpected animals.

“I really like it when everyone dresses up in costumes and hikes up. You always see some interesting stuff and it’s always different every year what people dress up in,” said Deon Estebo, South Dakota Mines senior, mechanical engineer.

But before they celebrate a Hardrockers win, students whitewash the ‘M’ overlooking Rapid City.