Skip to main content

Shining a light on ASU traditions

From whitewashing the A to touching the Paley Gates, special moments make today's Sun Devils part of the university's story

The A on A Mountain is outlined with lights held by students during the Lantern Walk
August 17, 2016

Quick: What do Sparky and a certain famous mouse have in common? Is the "A" on A Mountain always gold? What is grown on campus, besides young minds?*

Being a Sun Devil is about far more than simply flashing the pitchfork — though that's pretty fun. Learn about the traditions that make up the heritage of Arizona State University, stretching into the past and out into the future as today's students carry them forward.

The first video shares a summary of ASU traditions; scroll down for individual videos to learn more about them in-depth.

Whitewashing the 'A'

West campus' Paley Gates

Lantern Walk

Also pictured at the top of this story.

Sustainable orange harvest

Symphonic Carillon

Protecting the 'A' against UofA

A new era for a long tradition: The replanting of Palm Walk

For more about the rejuvenation of Palm Walk, click here. For a history of the iconic walk, including photo sliders comparing current and future looks, click here.

Painting the 'A' gold

Super fan Dan Turbyfill talks tradition and football

*Answers: Sparky was designed by a Disney artist. The "A" is whitewashed by the freshmen the first Saturday of the semester and painted gold again before the first home football game. Oranges are grown on the Tempe campus and harvested for use in the dining halls.

More Sun Devil community


Woman speaking into a microphone at the front of a classroom full of students.

Psychology professor named president-elect of international research association

Engaging in and strengthening psychology research at Arizona State University and globally is a priority for Ashley K. Randall. In recognition of that commitment, Randall, an associate professor in…

President Barack Obama speaks at Arizona State University's 2009 spring commencement.

Obama Scholars Program celebrates 15 years of championing accessible education

Arizona State University has played host to many highly regarded commencement speakers throughout the years, but none quite as prestigious as that for the class of 2009, when graduates were joined by…

Portrait of Benjamin Taylor.

Providing access to justice

When Benjamin Taylor completed a financial internship with a major Phoenix corporation in the early 2000s, he realized he was in the wrong field. “One day, I was in my cubicle crunching numbers and…