Heartbeat of Henderson


Madison Hardcastle, HTV Production Assistant

Homecoming, football, cold weather and so much more is approaching us this time of year, and what could make this time of the year better? This is also the time when the brothers of Phi Lambda Chi will begin their annual drum beat. 


The drumbeat, also known as the “heartbeat of Henderson”, will begin on Thursday and will not stop until Saturday, which is the day of homecoming. If you’re wondering if you read that correctly, you did. They will beat the drums for a full three days without stopping, which is 72 straight hours of heartbeat. 


This is a tradition that is held close to Henderson and the Phi Lamb brothers, so much so that they have kept the tradition alive for many years now.  For the drums, the guys use large barrels and take turns or rotate every couple of hours so that all of the brothers get to share the tradition and all have a chance to participate. 


“Been doing it as our philanthropy since 1965, but it started in the fifties,” Clark Jarrett, member of Phi Lambda Chi fraternity, said. “The sole purpose of it is to raise money for our philanthropy, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, by getting sponsors for each barrel and donating all that money to Arkansas Children’s Hospital.”


With every tradition there is also a story to tag along with it and this goes back before out time here at Henderson. 


“Back in the day its purpose was during the Ouachita Baptist University and Henderson game each year we would get on the river behind OBU’s campus and beat on the barrels trying to keep the OBU football players up at night.”


The reason to try and keep the players up at night is so that they would be tired and when game time rolls around they will not be able to play as well due to the lack of sleep. This honor was only do-able by the brothers of Phi Lamb. These days that does not happen but it is a good story to tie to the tradition. The drumbeat is a symbolic and holds a sacred place at Henderson and all that get to be a part of the tradition. 


This year there will be no different and the tradition will be continued just as it has for years now.