Why is the Chapter House Attached to a Rock?

Rock at Sigma Chi house

The rock and chain remind the brothers of their obligations in order to keep the chapter house from sliding down the hill.

One of Delta Delta’s long-standing stories of lore is the rock on the SW corner of the chapter house that is attached to the house by a heavy chain.  Each pledge class is reminded that the chained rock is necessary to prevent the chapter house from sliding down the hill due to inadequate performance of their duties.

Where Did the Rock Come From?

During spring break 1973 Harold Force ’73 decided to add some symbolism to this ongoing admonition to each pledge class. Harold recalls “During spring break of 1973, most of the brothers were on trips, either skiing in Colorado or looking for warm water, surf, and beer in Florida.  I was in neither camp, so decided to leave a legacy of our class.  I took one of our company’s trucks and went to Meshberger Quarry east of Columbus, IN; drove down into the pit; and had them load me up with a large piece of shot rock.  The rock weighed about 3,000# (still does).  I then took an old chain from a dragline bucket, and rock-bolted it to the rock.  I heated and hammered the bolt head so that it could never be removed.”

“At about 4:00 AM on a Thursday morning of the break week,” Harold continued, “I left Columbus for West Lafayette, dumped the rock at the current location, and headed out before anyone could catch me.  When the brothers returned from break, I disavowed any connection to the rock, but the truth eventually came out.  Some of the undergraduates didn’t like the idea, so I told them to try and move it.”

Harold Force circa 1973

Harold Force (circa 1973)

Connection Not Lost with Renovation of Chapter House

When the chapter house renovation and expansion were underway in 2007 the rock was removed and placed where it could be retrieved once construction was complete.  Harold also asked the architect to add a stainless steel “loop” in the approximate location of the former Junior Dorm.  They wanted to know why, but Harold didn’t think it was necessary to add any specifics.  The rock was then returned to its current location toward the end of the project and reattached to the chapter house using the stainless-steel loop.

For over 50 years the story of the Sig house being attached to the rock to prevent it from sliding down the hill remains.  Not only as a reminder of the obligations all Delta Delta brothers are expected to uphold, but also as a lasting legacy of Harold Force and the Class of ‘73’s commitment and love of 202 Littleton.

One Response to “Why is the Chapter House Attached to a Rock?”

Bill Frey 1962

Your story of obtaining and delivering the rock is symbolic of your steadfast dedication and personal legacy to Delta Delta. The renovation of the chapter house has your finger prints everywhere. You have given uncountable lifetime hours.
Thanks for being a rock to Delta Delta.
Bill Frey ’62


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