As the story goes, some spirited Weber College fans carried 100 cans of kerosene up Mountain Ogden to light a flaming “W” on the hillside to celebrate homecoming in 1937.

Since the late 1970s, the now Weber State University has lit an electronic “W” on the mountainside west of its Ogden campus in times of celebration and reflection.

The latest iteration calls for a solar installation to light a purple and white “Flaming W” that will illuminate the mountainside on special occasions such as homecoming, graduation, Founders Day and to celebrate athletic home wins.

“There have long been attempts to put a permanent W on the mountainside,” said Weber State University President Brad Mortensen in a statement.

“The temporary one has been a source of pride for our Wildcats and the community, and the new one will only amplify that school spirit,” he said.

Construction on the installation is expected to begin this summer.

Although the majority of funding has been secured, the university is raising the remaining $500,000 to light the W in time for homecoming in October. To contribute, visit

The planned “Flaming W” will not only modernize a Weber State tradition but will contribute electricity to the grid, in keeping with the university’s commitment to sustainability, Mortensen said.

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities honored Weber State University for its efforts to become carbon neutral by 2040 with its 2023 Excellence & Innovation Award for Sustainability and Sustainable Development.

The university was recognized for its 5-point Carbon Neutrality Strategy initiative, which emphasizes efficiencies, eliminating use of fossil fuels by “electrifying everything,” using renewable sources of energy, reinvesting savings and purchasing carbon offsets but only as a last resort solution.

Weber State has cut electricity consumption by 35%, natural gas consumption by 43% and total greenhouse gas emissions by 42%, saving more than $21 million, according to a university press release when Weber State was honored for its sustainability efforts. By 2038, the university anticipates having converted every building to all-electric systems.

The university has also incorporated sustainability across its curriculum and hosts the annual Intermountain Sustainability Summit.