Tour locations

The Rock

Visit the Rock, one of MSU’s most legendary campus icons.

The Rock is the oldest MSU icon with the most colorful history — in more ways than one. Functioning as a hand-painted billboard for students by students throughout the decades, the Rock was actually a class gift from the MSU Class of 1873.

It wasn’t a billboard in the beginning, though — in fact, during the 1940s and 1950s, the Rock was known as the “Engagement Rock,” where marriage proposals would take place. However, once the 1960s and 1970s came around, the Rock became a political platform and billboard for various groups. 

Today, the Rock is painted with a new message almost every day by students and student organizations — promoting events and groups, proclaiming love and support, memorializing someone, etc. The unwritten rule about painting the Rock is that whoever is there first at night to paint it can do so; however, if the painters decide not to stay and guard the Rock, any other group can come and repaint it. 

While the Rock might not be as prestigious or grand as other MSU campus icons, it is truly an evolving monument that represents the needs, time and spirit of the students at MSU. 

A campus icon

The Rock is a gift from the Class of 1873.


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