The administration building at Georgia Tech is called the Tech Tower. There's a very simple reason for this name. At the top of the building is a tower, and each of the four sides of the tower has the word TECH on it. It's not painted on or made out of some tiny little letters. No, TECH is built out of tall metal letters, with neon lights in them. I'd estimate the letters to be between six and eight feet tall. They're sizable and heavy. Two sets of letters are lit up in yellow, and two in white.

A tradition among Tech students is to steal the T from atop Tech Tower. This tradition apparently started in 1969 with the first theft and continues to this day, despite faculty attempts to put a halt to it. You must remember that stealing the T involves climbing five or six stories to a metal platform, unhooking the T from its metalwork, and hauling it back down the tower.

There are several alarm systems on the T including motion detectors and fiber optics running through the sign. The exact systems and their whereabouts are kept a secret so that nobody can form a solid plan. They are even said to move the security systems around from time to time. Regardless, there isn't much time to get the thing down before the police show up to arrest you.

Lots of people have gotten in trouble for stealing the T. Punishment includes fines for damage to the sign and replacement costs (at least $10,000), possible expulsion, and even jail time. Recently, the faculty has taken this very seriously as it's quite possible for someone to die while attempting to steal it.

Seriously, people have actually hauled the T off from the top of the tower. I've only seen this once. The result is that one side of the building says ECH on it. And it will stay that way for about a week until the maintainence crews can get up there with a replacement letter. This is typically done around finals week.

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