It’s a common sight to see the Marist “M” on students’ sweatshirts, folders and other Marist gear around campus. One peculiar place some might not expect to look for the Marist “M” is across the river. On a clear day down by the docks or by Gartland Commons, you might be able to see the outline of the Marist “M” on the cliffs across the Hudson River. The Marist graduating class of 1970 first sketched the “M” on the cliffs and over the years the “M” has gone through many different renovations.

The next class to contribute to the “M” was the 1983 graduating class who decided to add a much more personal touch. The brave members of this class decided to take on the challenge of added the year 1983 to the “M.” The Marist “M” does not just signify the daring members of various graduating classes that decided to really leave their mark on the cliff, it represents a greater school spirit.

The Marist “M” on the Hudson River bank is especially meaningful to both the men and women crew teams. Other crew teams have left their school letters on the rocks down the river, so the Marist crew team decided to leave their mark as well. The crew team wanted to mark their territory across the river and intimidate the challenging teams.

The team of members from the 1970 class had a very methodical way of ensuring the safety of their peers that were scaling the cliff from the ropes tied to the trees above. The smaller men were propelled from the cliff from ropes, which were being supported by the other, stronger people on top of the cliff. According to “The Circle” article in 1988, “The Story Behind the M on the River’s Bank,” Steve Caiola and Donny Magowski, who are graduates from the 1970 class, completed most of the actual painting of the original M on the cliff.


Even where you least expect it, there is Marist pride all over this campus. I absolutely love knowing that when I leave Marist College, on the unfortunate, sad, sad day, there will be hundreds of other Red Foxes to network with to get my dream job. I think knowing the history about Marist is very important to continue to express your Marist spirit. Without the past memories and outstanding events at Marist College, it wouldn’t be the beautiful place that it is today.

According to “The Story Behind the M on the River’s Bank,” there have been members from each of the six consecutive years adding their years to the original design on the cliff.  Now that it is late into the spring semester, seniors only have a few days left before they venture off into the real world. Some seniors might want to leave their own mark on their second home before they officially leave Marist College. I guess, the rest of the Marist Community just has to wait to see what is in store from the graduating class of 2013.

If you would like to read the original “The Circle” article check out the link below. Also both our Men and Women’s Crew Team won the MAAC championship over this past weekend. Congratulations!!

“The Story Behind the M on the River’s Bank”

-Cathryn Vaccaro

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s