The Rock left untouched after Summitt's death
Miller is known for her paintings on The Rock each Saturday in the fall, but this mural of Pat Summitt will be the one she will be remembered for painting on campus.
The University of Tennessee is one of a kind when it comes to encouraging artwork on a public landmark. Since the 1960’s the University gives students a way to display current concerns, activities and celebrations that are happening around campus.
Currently weighing in at 80 tons, it is not uncommon for this landmark better known as “The Rock” to have several layers of paint added to it per day. Students will camp out to make sure their message is not immediately painted over, and others will camp out nearby to jump at the first opportunity to add their touch to this rock-solid tradition. However, The Rock has not seen another layer of paint in over three weeks.
On July 14, 2016, Payton Miller, a student of The University of Tennessee, painted a mural in honor of the late Pat Summitt. The fact that this is the longest in the Rock’s history that no one has painted over someone else’s work on The Rock shows the student body’s respect for the legendary Head Coach. It is a true testament of the love and admiration from fans and graduates of 50 years ago to the future Vols. The community does not want to let go of the individual that broke countless barriers and created such a highly treasured program.
Miller is known for her paintings on The Rock each Saturday in the fall, but this mural of Pat Summitt will be the one she will be remembered for painting on campus. If you would like to pay a visit to The Rock, it is only fitting and ironic that the mural sits at the corner of Volunteer Boulevard and Pat Head Summitt Street.
“I won 1,098 games and eight national championships and coached in four different decades. But what I see are not the numbers. I see their faces.” –Pat Summitt
It is unknown when the next painting on The Rock will be, but for now, it is a magnificent reminder to all who pass by that familiar face, so well-known by the Vol Nation. Many have been touched by Summitt and are reminded to always strive for greatness as she did.