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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Welcome to Homecoming Week: Bobcats Senior Honorary set ‘A’ Mountain ablaze

Alex McIntyre
Emily Sill, an elementary education senior and member of the Bobcat senior honorary, checks for more flares to light on “A” Mountain on Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016. The lighting of the “A” by the Bobcats is a tradition kicking off the week of Homecoming each year.

When the “A” on Sentinel Peak brilliantly lit up at approximately 6 p.m. Sunday night, so did the faces and smiles of the Bobcats Senior Honorary students.

The 13 students in Bobcats Senior Honorary are responsible for lighting the “A” on “A” Mountain the Sunday before every Homecoming week, according to Jill Hall, advisor to the Bobcats and the vice president of alumni engagement and innovation.

Tyler Strauss, president of the Bobcats Senior Honorary, and two other Bobcats, Tori Romero and Jonah Weiss, were responsible for planning the lighting of the “A” event.

“As a senior, it’s so awesome to have the opportunity to be out here with my best friends, hanging out and being able to carry on this tradition for future Wildcats,” Romero said, a Bobcats Senior Honorary member studying public health.

Hall said the Bobcats have to get permission from the City of Tucson to close the park down to everyone but the honorary and the fire and police departments every year. She said the flares also had to be ordered and shipped to Tucson.

The “A” was lit with $600 worth of flares, according to Weiss, a marketing senior.

Weiss said lighting the “A” used to be done by the freshman honorary on a Friday night while the senior honorary would light the bonfire.

Weiss said that once construction around campus increased, the Bobcats could no longer light the bonfire. In 2008, a Bobcat suggested the “A” lighting be changed to the Sunday night before Homecoming week.

In November of 1915, an engineering student convinced his professor to make building the “A” on Sentinel Peak a class project to commemorate recent victories over Pomona College from Claremont, California,according to Jaynelle Ramon, the social media manager for the UA Alumni Association.

Ramon said the rocks used to build the “A” were brought up by six-horse teams. By the time the project was completed, the cost totaled $397.

“Homecoming week is important to me because I think that coming back after I’m a student here is what I’m going to look forward to,” Strauss said, a finance senior. “It’s what I want everyone to look forward to.”

Once the Tucson Fire Department was on the scene with the Bobcats, the students were allowed to ignite the flares.

When the block “A” was burning crimson and could be seen from spectators on top of the Main Gate Garage, the Bobcats celebrated by singing UA’s fight song, “Bear Down, Arizona” in front of the illuminated peak.

Follow Jessica Suriano on Twitter.

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