Engineering Pranks

During my four years at Swarthmore, I may or may not have been involved with a number of engineering-themed April Fools’ pranks. All pranks were conducted with the express permission (and much-appreciated assistance of) Swarthmore College Facilities and Public Safety.

2010: Burying the Big Chair

One of Swat’s best-known sites is the Big Chair, a massive Adirondack chair designed by accomplished sculptor (and infamous Swat alum) Jake Beckman. The chair is HUGE – it’s approximately 8 feet tall at its highest point, and is estimated to weigh over 1,000 lbs. In 2010, it was mysteriously buried in the middle of Parrish Lawn.

2011: Operation McCage

McCabe Library – the main library at Swarthmore – is often maligned for its fortress-like appearance. In 2011, it was mysteriously converted into a prison overnight: McCage Correctional Facility.

2012: Operation Thunderbird

In 2012, the Big Chair was pranked again, this time by being hung from in the ceiling inside Science Center Commons. (Photos courtesy of Nick Felt)

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