The view of the University of Montana campus from the "M" on Mount Sentinel was crystal clear Thursday afternoon.
And it wasn't just the lovely fall weather that helped make things easy to pick out.
Anyone who has made the trek up Missoula's most traveled trail this week should have noticed a new map that has been installed just below the concrete "M." The map features an illustrated, aerial view of campus and comes complete with the names and locations of all the major buildings that spread out below.
The map was donated to the university as the class of 2011's Senior Challenge gift and will be a permanent trail feature.
Senior Challenge is coordinated by the University of Montana Foundation, and the foundation's associate director and 2011 Senior Challenge committee member Tara Udall led Thursday's unveiling ceremony.
"(The ‘M') is such a huge monument," Udall said. "There are always people up here. Now, you can pick out every building."
The illustrated map was drawn by former UM Foundation graphic artist Rebecca Calderara.
Calderara's drawing features about 50 buildings on campus, which are identified by numbers and listed in alphabetical order. UM Facilities Services installed the map Monday.
Udall said she was happy her class chose a gift that enhances an integral part of campus that symbolizes the active nature of the Missoula community.
"It's kind of hard because buildings are always changing," Udall said. "But it's a good mark to leave as seniors because these are the buildings that were here when we were seniors."
The class of 2011 raised $1,800 for the project, and donated leftover funds to the "MICK" fund that helps high-achieving students in need of financial aid.
"The idea of the Senior Challenge is to teach students that everyone is involved in giving back to the university. If they want to see something happen, they can make it happen," said Beth Hammock, vice president of strategic communication and marketing for the UM Foundation.
Past gifts include a pair of trees planted on the Oval and a bike rack placed in front of the Payne Family Native American Center.
Becca Millsap, a senior studying geosciences and committee chair for the class of 2012 Senior Challenge, attended Thursday's map unveiling and said brainstorming for the next senior gift has already begun.
Reporter Jenna Cederberg can be reached at 523-5241 or a email@example.com.