Q: Where did those giant chairs in front of all the fraternities come from?

What's up with that?

photo of large wooden chair painted with red Greek letters in front of frat house, by Nick Sloff '92 A&A


Aphoto of blue wooden chair painted with yellow Greek letters by Nick Sloff '92 A&A: Sometime in the past 10 or 15 years, large lifeguard-style chairs began appearing on the properties of off-campus fraternity houses in State College. None of the current fraternity members we spoke to could pinpoint which house first displayed a chair—or when—but now nearly every house in town seems to have one on its lawn, each hand-painted with chapter letters and colors. Cory Lindey, a brother at Alpha Tau Omega who last year served as vice president for community relations for the Penn State Interfraternity Council, says building such a chair was his pledge class project at ATO. “We went to Home Depot or Lowe’s, grabbed all the necessary materials, constructed it, and painted it,” recalls Lindey. As for the why, Lindey says the chairs are a fun way to show off chapter pride; they also offer brothers a space above the crowd at packed social events. Not only have the chairs grown in popularity, they’re also growing in size. “Our first chair was maybe 6 feet wide and 8 feet tall,” Lindey says. “The one we have now might be 15 feet wide and 10 feet tall.”  


If you know more about the origin of the fraternity lifeguard chairs, drop us a line at heypennstater@psu.edu.