Campus touchstone coated in paint

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Westminster Rock
The 'Rock' at Brittain Lake is more than a touchstone for students.  It represents rivalries, indentity and community.

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.-- Outsiders to the Westminster campus believe that it is just an ordinary boulder situated along the shoreline of Brittain Lake.  However, to the students, especially the Greek organizations, "The Rock" is the most cherished and historic items around.

For generations, Westminster students have painted "The Rock" near the amphitheater.  Layers upon layers of spray paint from over the years cover that special rock.

So, how did this tradition become about?  Phi Kappa Tau brother Thomas Cho explains the story behind the rock.

"The rock was actually smaller than it is right now, so people would go and take it and put their mark on it and then put the rock back and it would just get passed back and forth," Cho said.

"Eventually, it got stuck in front of Brittain Lake and people started to paint over it.  Paint layers started to get bigger and bigger and then the rock started to get bigger as well," Cho explained.
WCN crew paints THE ROCK

Another question on most people's minds is why is this rock so important to fraternity and sorority life here on campus.  Cho says that it is a way for those organizations to express themselves.

"This rock has become very symbolic.  A lot of people know about this rock on campus and it is a way for organizations to represent themselves by painting it," Cho said.

Fraternities and sororities usually paint the rock secretly meaning that they do it at nighttime, but the security around campus and New Wilmington do not seem to mind as long as the rock is the only item being painted and not anything else.

Theta Chi brother Tony Hamorsky says painting "The Rock" is a time to bring fraternities and sororities together.

"It is a special event for each fraternity and sorority to get together and have some fun," said Hamorsky.

Alpha Gamma Delta

One word has been thrown around when describing painting "The Rock" and that is tradition.  Students continue to pass down this tradition every year to be a part of Westminster history.  Sigma Nu alumni Toby Bonitz describes the tradition.

"Every organization has their own night to put their colors on the rock.  It is almost like a holiday," said Bonitz.

"The Rock" at Westminster College is a big part of the campus and continues bring organizations closer together and it allows students to leave their legacy.

Also, fraternities and sororities show no signs of slowing down or stopping painting "The Rock" anytime soon.

They made it perfectly clear when they painted the phrase "And We Won't Stop".

It seems like this powerful tradition and pastime will continue at Westminster College for years to come.

Story by Corey Benedict.  Photos by Corey Benedict & Brad Weaver.

Created with flickr slideshow.

Campus organizations leave their mark on 'The Rock'