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"M" above Mines Campus to Get Biggest Whitewash Ever: Record New Undergraduates = Record White Paint at Annual M-Climb GOLDEN, Colo., Aug. 18, 2004-Paint will fly like never before as a record number of new undergraduates at Colorado School of Mines paint the "M" on Mt. Zion in Golden on Monday, Aug. 23. New student enrollment (freshmen and transfers) for the fall 2004 semester is expected to total approximately 800 students, the largest number in school history. Classes begin Tuesday, Aug. 24. Tradition dictates that each freshman carry a 10-pound boulder up Mt. Zion (just north of Lookout Mountain), place it on the "M," then coat the "M"-and typically themselves-with a fresh coat of whitewash. Students leave the Mines intramural fields at 8:30 a.m., and the whitewashing, which lasts 10 to 15 minutes, usually occurs between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. The "M" is the largest electronically lit school emblem in the world, measuring 104 feet by 107 feet and boasting more than 500 15-watt lightbulbs. Mines students have recently built a new fully computer automated and remote controlled system for the "M" that incorporates 37 different animations. Creative manipulation of colors and shapes can alter the "M" for holidays (a jack-o-lantern in October, for example), school events and community theme.

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