Paint the A tradition fosters friendship

By Theresa May (’18)

Here at Colorado State University, we value tradition and connections that last a lifetime. Painting the A, an event hosted by the Alumni Association every fall, is a great way for incoming Rams to take part in a nearly century-old CSU tradition while meeting new people. Fourth-year students Gus Gill and Ryan Latta were strangers when they started their CSU journey in 2015, and they have been friends ever since an 8 a.m. shift of painting the A.

Ryan, left, and Gus painting the A in 2015.
Ryan, right, and Gus painting the A in 2015.

Ryan was the last one to board the bus to paint the A, and settled into the only remaining seat next to Gus. Gus recognized Ryan from a Future Farmers of America (FFA) convention, where they had met briefly. They were both planning on running for state FFA offices, and from that moment, the similarities between the two became more and more apparent.

Both Gus and Ryan are students in the College of Agricultural Sciences, and share similar values about education and leadership. Gus is majoring in agricultural education and wants to become a high school agriculture teacher because of the positive impact his ag teacher had on him. “Mr. Everhart made an extraordinary impact in my life, and I hope that I can be an inspirational role model for students just as he is to me,” says Gus. Ryan is majoring in soil and crop sciences and considers himself “a computer nerd who grows corn.”

Both soon-to-be graduates have green and gold in their veins and are heavily involved on-campus. Gus and Ryan are Ag Ambassadors representing their college and have family members who are CSU alumni—Gus’s relative who started the tradition attended in 1900! “Don’t let your schooling get in the way of your education,” said Gus. He is also a Presidential Ambassador and member of the Collegiate Farm Bureau. Off-campus, he is a member of Farmhouse Fraternity.

Ryan and Gus today

Ryan works at the Ram’s Horn Dining Center and is an Ag Peer mentor. The mentorship roll gives Ryan the opportunity, as he explains it, to “directly help students by helping them chart a path between where they are to where they want to be.”

Gus and Ryan’s pride for their Aggie roots, along with their appreciation for the endless opportunities on campus, brought these friends together and should make us all “proud to be!”