An iconic UT landmark for more than 50 years, the Rock is a place of free expression on campus, a public canvas where thousands of artists have expressed themselves. Unearthed in 1966, the Rock has been a fixture of campus life ever since, and painting the Rock has become a treasured campus tradition.
A livestream from the Rock provides a view of the changing messages and artwork, while creating community accountability for a space that belongs to everyone.
Messages on the Rock are as varied as the thousands of students, faculty, staff, and visitors who pass by the 97.5-ton hunk of dolomite at the corner of Volunteer Boulevard and Pat Head Summitt Street. At the Rock, we have celebrated victories, expressed opposition, remembered those we’ve lost, shared joy, and when necessary, stood united against hate.
The Rock has displayed thousands of messages expressing compassion, protest, beauty, humor, kindness, and hope. We must also acknowledge the moments when the Rock has included messages of hate. Such messages are unacceptable, hurtful, and antithetical to the values of the University of Tennessee and to all Volunteers. Hate aimed at one Vol is aimed at all Vols.
As a testament to the Volunteer spirit, when hate has appeared on the Rock, the campus community has acted quickly to replace it.