The “C” received an unexpected makeover on Monday, March 12. Speculation on the meaning of the display varied, but by late afternoon a group of students had come forward, anonymously, to explain that the work was actually a giant “smiley face” emoticon made of painted tarps staked into the ground and was a project for an art class. The students substantiated their claim with photos.

The artwork was taken down in the early evening on Monday by unknown persons. “We had planned to go up Tuesday morning to take it down, but it was already gone,” said Paul Ditty of the Physical Plant Paint Shop.

While painting, covering and otherwise altering the “C” has become a favorite pastime of students and others over the years, such actions are discouraged because of the potential for damage to the nearly 60-year-old concrete structure and the ecosystem of the natural reserve that surrounds it.