The School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City is famous for a couple things.
For one thing, the school has a guy to girl ratio of something like 6 to 1; but besides that, they are famous for M Hill, a shrine to the school and all its alumni.
Until recently, I had never climbed the Hill to get a closer glimpse of the ode to past alums that lies at the top — in fact, I didn’t even know it existed.
If this is foreign territory to you, let me help describe the scene. After ascending about 700 feet on a windy, and sometimes rugged path that stretches nearly three miles, you will find the school’s initials, which are composed of some type of weather-resistant material, and imbedded in the face.
This memorial is a permanent pat-on-the-back to the students that paid enflated tuition for so many years. For the record, many of them went on to become engineers and are making more money than a simple blogger, like myself, could ever dream of.
Upon reaching the summit I pulled out my limited edition copy of Brains On Fire, an inspiring book written by marketing professionals about igniting movements. The particular lesson I read that day was very appropriate to my surroundings.
Lesson #6 — Movements have shared ownership
To summarize, this lesson states that you can turn normal people into raging fans just by giving them ownership of a movement.
Maybe this Hollywoodesque display of school spirit isn’t quite the movement the book was referring to, but it certainly instills ownership in what each students has accomplished. After all, the names represented on each plaque are there forever.
It’s a true anthem of, “once a student, forever an alumni.”
Their names will always be a part of the schools “permanent records,” which is more than I can attest to from the public university I attended.
I tried to imagine the pride those students must have.
In 30 years, if they can still manage the hike, those past students will find their names, etched in school history; and that is something just about anyone can become a raging fan about.