The "M" on the west face of Mount Sentinel has been a Missoula landmark since 1908, when Forestry Club members forged a zigzag trail up the mountain and students carried up stones to shape the symbol of the University of Montana.

Time brought several transformations to the "M." In 1912, a wooden letter replaced the one made of stone. When the wooden "M" was blown off the mountain in 1915, it was replaced with a more permanent, larger stone "M." That structure remained until 1968, when it was replaced with the concrete "M" we see today.