When Will the Big Chair Be Back?

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

The Big Chair is a continual source of Ask the Gazettes, particularly since it was removed from the Parrish Beach due to rotting and other structural damage. Then, Vice President for Facilities and Services Stuart Hain explained that the chair had been intended as a piece of art, not as a permanent fixture on the Swarthmore campus.

Still, the Chair has become an icon of Swarthmore, featured on the Colbert Report, in nearly every promotional piece, and in the memories of thousands of prospective students.

So, it is comforting to know that its successor will be coming to the Beach sometime this Spring. According to Hain, the College has finally procured the materials needed to build something that could “stand up to the stresses of the “beach” environment.”

The Swarthmore alum who made the original structure, Jake Beckman ’04, will be returning to campus in March to begin the constructing the new-Big-Chair.

Do you have any oddball questiosn you want to fire off? Ask us at dailygazette@swarthmore.edu.


  1. A predecessor is "something succeeded or replaced by something else". I think you want to call the new chair a "successor" instead – or "Big Chair v2".

  2. YES. I am so glad to hear this. I miss the chair.
    –a stressed out senior (who was afraid the chair would not reappear before she graduated)

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