This Week in Hazing: by Hank Nuwer   (

"Every week should be National Hazing Prevention Week." --Hank Nuwer

hank nuwer hazing deaths

Page under construction for one full year until November 2012.  Have a hazing date or program or heroic good deed on a specific date you want commemorated here?  Send with any documentation to Hank Nuwer

Today's Date in Hazing Remembered

Archives below (will be put in order when a full year's calendar is achieved--HN)

Archive (will be moved to separate page after page is completed)

matt carrington
February 2  Matt's Law in California. The 2005 death of pledge Matt Carrington at Chico State.  

Daniel Reardon hazing death hanknuwer.comFebruary 7  Daniel Reardon died in 2002 while pledging the University of Maryland's Phi Sigma Kappa chapter.

February 10. Thomas Clark disappeared while being sent on a foolish errand by the Delta Kappa Epsilon chapter at M.I.T. His body was found eight days later in 40 feet of water.  1956

william flowers hazing death hanknuwer.comFebruary 12. William Flowers was buried alive during a foolish stunt for Zeta Beta Tau at Monmouth College. His mothher Dorothy talked to Hank Nuwer for a small section in the book "Broken Pledges."

michael davis hazing deathFebruary 15  The death by hazing of Michael Davis for Kappa Alpha Psi occurred in 1994. That story is told in the book Wrongs of Pasage by Hank Nuwer. His notebook alked about hazing being a physical conditioning of the mind. He was beaten to death at Southeast Missouri State University.  At the time, every possible source at Southeast Missouri State from newspaper adviser to administrator refused to answer repeated phone calls and emails requesting information on the death for the book.

February 13 Pledge James Callahan died of alcohol poisoning while pledging Lambda Chi Alpha at Rutgers University.

chuck stenzel hazing deathFebruary 24.  Death of Klan Alpine fraternity pledge Chuck Stenzel at Alfred University in 1978.  The story of Chuck is in Broken Pledges by Hank Nuwer.

February 28 The University of Maryland disbanded Delta Tau Delta for serious hazing charges. 2008.

February 29  Two Stevenson High School students bargained to lesser charges of disorderly conduct after an Illinois hazing incident.

March 5  Emerson Berry, Jr. died from his injuries due to paddling and beatings associated with pledging Beta Gamma Rho fraternity in 2006. Philippines hazing deah.

walter dean jennings hazing death
March 12 Walter Dean Jennings, a Plattsburgh State pledge, died from the catastrophic effects of drinking numerous gallons of water required by Psi Epsilon Chi, a disgraced and banned chapter with support from diehard alumni. .

gary devercelly
March 30  Gary DeVercelly Jr. died at Theta Chi's Rider University chapter.  Two administrators were charged with crimes but charges were dropped.

March 31 Oregon Health and Science University celebrated the annual freshman slaughter for dental students.

On March 31, 2001, a pledge for Kappa Alpha Psi collapsed during hazing at Old Dominion.

April 11 In 1987, the Naval Academy dismissed Cadet C.W. Potter, of Michigan for hazing Fourth Class members. See New York Times for April 1887.

Gabe higgins texas cowboys hazing deathApril 29 The 1995 death of Gabe Higgins (left with close friends) at the University of Texas occurred by drowning on the Colorado River after a night of drinking and foolish stunts required then for admissin into the Texas Cowboys, a spirit club. His mother, Ruth Harten wrote a book about Gabe.

May 4 The notorious 2003 Glenbrook High School female Powderpuff game ended in a hazing catastrophe.

May 11  This agonizing story from 1906 between a father of a deceased student and Culver Military Academy: Declaring that the medical service at Culver Military Academy was inferior, Dr. C. C. BEERY, of Chicago has prepared to make a full investigaiton into the cause of the death of his son, Edward [BEERY], who was a student at that institution and a nephew of the Senator STEPHENSON family of this city. "I am going to sift the matter to the bottom," said Dr. Beery, according to dispatches from Chicago. "I am convinced he was neglected or his case did not receive proper attention. I blame the authorities for not letting me know at once the serious character of my son's illness."
The report that young Beery, a student of Culver Military Academy came to his death as a result of being hazed by fellow students, has stirred the authorities of that institution into making an investigation. Immediately after Beery's death a court of inquiry was ordered by the academy authorities, and as a result of the finding of the court, thirteen students were found guilty of hazing and expelled from the academy.
According to a statement made by Major L. R. GIGNILLIAT, commandant of the academy, Beery died at 6 o'clock on the evening of April 25, from the effects of an operation on his throat, made necessary because of an attack of tonsilitis. In denying the sensational story that Beery's death was caused by hazing, Maj. Gignilliant said: "Cadet Beery was one of the most popular students of the freshman class. He had never been hazed and was not in danger of being hazed. His death occurred before the court of inquiry made a report that he was in the hospital and before the students were expelled from the institution. If the academy officials thought that the action of any of the students was responsible for the illness of Beery or any other cadet, there would be no attempt to bring up a whitewash, as we are in favor of doing everything above board." Source:

August 28 Kenny Luong, 19, a Cal Poly Pomona pledge of Lambda Phi Epsilon, died ion the Cal Irvine campus following a hazing bashing disguised as a tackle football contest. His parents were awarded $1.7 million.  2005

September 1 In 1984, Bruce Goodrich's death with the Texas A & M cadets was termed a "motivational hazing." Video clip

September 10:  A letter (September 10, 1903) from John Wallace Winborne, a cousin, attempts to ease the worries of Benjamin Brodie Winborne about hazing he will face in college.  Source: East Carolina University historical collections. 

richard swanson hazing death
September 17 The 1959 death of Richard Swanson by choking might have been prevented if Kappa Sigma brothers and fellow pledges had not stonewalled rescue workers that he had been ordered to swallow a slab of raw liver.

September 29 SUNY Maritime graduate cites that institution's long history of hazing back in 1989.

September 30, 2009  Jackson band hazingJackson State band hazing press conference

Nick HabenOctober 19  The death of Nick Haben, a non-drinker, in a lacrosse initiation was preceded by a series of stunts performed in fraternity houses of team members. Nick's story was told in Chapter Five of Hank Nuwer's High School Hazing: When Rites Become Wrongs. This is high school photo with parents Dale and Alice Haben.

October 21 In 1873, former General Mortimer Leggett wrote a letter to the New York Times describing his son's recent death by hazing in the Cornell University Kappa Alpha Society.

donnie wade hazing death
October 23 Donnie Wade, a Phi Beta Sigma pledge, died in a 2009 hazing death at Prairie View A & M.

November 1  Nirojsak Inthachot, 16, died from a hazing beating at Bangkok Polytechnic and Commerce school on October 21, 1908.

chad meredith hazing deathNovember 4  Chad Meredith, 18, an Indianapolis baseball player in high school, died by drowning while Kappa Sigma fraternity brothers who ordered him into Lake Osceola stood and watched. Chad's parents and attorney David Bianchi engineered the toughest hazing law in country in 2005.  

November 7  An alleged disgusting case of occupational hazing in Seattle in 2007.

November 8 The death of Martin Loew in a University of Maryland, Baltimore dental fraternity was blamed on hazing, according to Loew's roommate.

November 14 In 1974, Zeta Beta Tau pledge William Flowers, 19, of Monmouth College was buried alive in a shoreside initiation. An interview with his mother Dorothy Flowers appeared in "Broken Pledges" by Hank Nuwer.

sigma alpha epsilon hazing death Tyler CrossNovember 17  Sigma Alpha Epsilon pledge and University of Texas lacrosse athlete Tyler Cross died in a 2006 fall while intoxicated. It took many months before an investigation linked his death to hazing.

harrison kowiak hazing death november 18November 18.  Harrison Kowiak died at Lenoire-Rhyne in a foolish and dangerous game of "jump-on-the-pledge" football this day in 2008. He suffered a head injury and died. Mr. and Mrs Brian Kowiak settled recently with the school and Theta Chi National.

November 19  India's court system tracks 70 cases of hazing (ragging in India) during the 2007-2008 school year, spurring demands from the public for hazing and ragging legislation.

November 20   In 1988, Sigma Tau Gamma enacted antihazing policies.

michael starks hazing deathNovember 21. Michael Starks, a pledge, died from alcohol poisoning in a hazing incident involving the Utah State chapter of Sigma Nu and a campus sorority. His family has been active in changing Utah's hazing law, among other hazing causes.

hazed and infused gordie baileyNovember 22 The Boulder Beer Company in 2005 touts its Hazed and Confused brand despite the death in Boulder of fraternity pledge Gordie Bailey in 2004 at the University of Colorado.  The beer is still on the market.  

Martin V. Bergen died of peritonitis following physical hazing on November 22, 1899 at a Lawrenceville school in New Jersey.

November 23 Five Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity brothers at Fort Valley State College were charged with battery in a five-hour hazing-related beating with paddles and canes in 1989.  Spin Magazine later criticized FVSC (Georgia) for doing way too little in the wake of the attacks. Hazing allegations consistently have plagued FVSC by other fraternal groups over the years since 1989.

Also November 23  In 2005, South Korean Kim Dong Min killed eight people in retaliation for one superior's heavy verbal hazing.  On this day a tribunal sentenced him to death.

November 24  Four Russian border guards received sentences of up to 23 years for the death of one conscript and severe injuries to others in 1998.  In 1905 a group of wedding guests dragged new bride "Mrs. Frank Felker" through the streets of Logansport, Indiana, injuring her.

November 25  A hazing incident involving a battle between freshmen and sophomores at Vanderbilt was the main source of news for the Vanderbilt Hustler in 1907.

November 26  In 1999 the Chronicle of Higher Education published my op-ed piece on cultlike hazing in fraternities.

November 27  In 2001, two members of James Madison University's Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter were charged with hazing.

Ukraine: US STATE DEPARTMENT report below

"On November 27, Oleksandr Rybka died following a beating by two fellow soldiers the day after he reported to a training base in Chernihiv Oblast. According to his relatives, Rybka called home on November 26 saying that two sergeants had demanded money. Prosecutor General Oleksandr Medvedko stated that military prosecutors had initiated a criminal case. For the first time in recent history, military officials immediately acknowledged the death of a military member as the result of hazing. Defense Minister Hrytsenko, who took the investigation under his personal control, stated that this was a hazing death and added that it was the first to occur in two years.

The Association of Soldiers' Mothers (ASM) reported that violent hazing continued to be widespread. According to the military watchdog group Mothers of Killed Soldiers, most deaths are labeled suicide or accident without investigation. In 2005 there were nine suicides while in service, 10 suicides outside regular service, and two soldiers were killed by their fellow servicemen. According to the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, seven criminal cases of soldier-on-soldier violence were initiated in the Kharkiv garrison in 2005.

According to the ASM, garrison prosecutors often did not investigate complaints of hazing, accepted bribes not to press charges against the perpetrators of such violence, or delayed the start of trial proceedings until potential witnesses were discharged from the military. Garrison prosecutors wrongfully confined soldiers who complained about hazing to psychiatric hospitals, and punishment administered for committing or condoning hazing was insufficient to deter further abuses.

Police abused Roma and harassed and abused dark skinned persons. Representatives of these groups claimed that police officials routinely ignored, and sometimes abetted, vigilante violence against them, especially in Crimea (see section 5)."  Additional info on 91 hazing cases.

charles c. strout hazing 1881 Charles Strout
November 28  This article ran in the New York Times in 1881. It is likely the first lawsuit ever for hazing. "The Maine newspapers tell us that a Portland lawyer [Sewall C. Strout] has brought suit on November 18 claiming $10,000 from each of seven Sophomores in Bowdoin College for injuries to his Freshman son's eyes by a piece of coal thrown through his window in a hazing scrape." The suit named sophomores Noah Pettingall [spelling is likely different according to a check of Bowdoin history], Charles Dunning, Samuel Packard, Ernest Smith, Henry Bradley, Donald Clark and Albert Sweetzer. The injured son was Charles Strout, and his brief bio is here. Chances are he was to endure hazing again, for he joined many fraternal organizations as an adult.

November 29 The Sigma Tau Gamma chapter at Plattsburgh State earned national recognition for anti-hazing statements in the documentary "Unless a Death Occurs: Hazing Examined."   In 2006 on this date, newspaper accounts reported that the chapter admitted it earlier that month had required its members swallow a nickel as a requirement for initiation. The practice came to light when a member became ill enough tto be hospitalized.  The chapter took responsibility for its actions, according to news reports. Hazing at Plattsburgh State became a national story with the 2003 death of Walter "Dean" Jennings, a pledge for a subrosa chapter. Plattsburgh Greek life has become a national voice for hazing containment or eradication.

robert champion band hazing Famu
November 30  1) Funeral today for Robert Champion, FAMU band member. One of the largest gatherings to discuss hazing education occurred in Atlanta in 2005.

Carson stuckey
December 1-2  Carson Starkey died following a hazing at a "party" on December 1, 2008. He pledged Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at California Polytechnic University, in San Luis Obispo. He never awoke in the morning. His parents have done much good to create awareness in the three years since his death,

December 2 Six members of the Southern University band were charged with beating a new member of the French horn section witha two-by-four in 2008.

December 2  Terry Stirling died of alcohol poisoning at a Big and Little drinking marathon at Old Dominion. The college was lambasted my many in the press for taking slow and too little action against the ATO members in charge of the "party."

December 3 The 1900 death of Oscar L. Booz at West Point on this date led to a Congressional investigation into hazing practices at the military academy during Booz's time there in 1898. The committee ruled West POint had savage and dangerous hazing practices but ruled that tubercolosis was the cause of the death. See Hank Nuwer "Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing" for a chapter on the Booz affair.

December 4  Sailor hazing, 1994. "The incidents, which the Navy said were unrelated, took place aboard the oilers USS Merrimack and USS Monongahela. [John Tull] wouldn't reveal the nature or circumstances of the hazing. "The exact circumstances are still being investigated," he said. The Merrimack was at sea when its hazing incidents occurred, Tull said. Six sailors were charged with assault at administrative hearings before the ship's captain. Each received 45 days' restriction, 45 days' extra duty, and forfeiture of a half-month's pay for two months. Each was also reduced in rank or had a pending promotion withheld.

December 5 Claude G. Campbell in 1894 was savagely hazed for wearing the "wrong" colors at a football game. A newspaper made much of his handicap and called the tormentors "asinine."  Also on December 5, R. M. Long of the University of Wisconsin was ordered to testify in an 1889 freshman-sophomore hazing case.

December 6  In 1994, the Kappa Alpha Psi chapter at M.I.T. was lightly punished for hazing.  

December 7  Los Angeles physician and surgeon George Goodellow dies on December 7, 1910. He was involved in racial hazing at West Point. "Medical Pioneer. Known as the "Gunfighter's Surgeon," he was the first physician known to operate successfully on abdominal gunshot wounds. At age 12, he was sent East for his schooling only to be expelled for incorrigibility and then placed in a military school in Oakland. He was enrolled at Annapolis only to be dismissed after knocking unconscious the school's first black cadet in a hazing incident." --From "Find-a-Grave

December 8  On this day in 2005 the University of Michigan accused its Zeta Beta Tau chapter of hazing.

chad saucier december 9 hazing death phi delta theta auburnDecember 9  Chad Saucier in 1993 died afterr a foolish and dangerous Big Bottle exchange for "Bigs" and "Littles" in which he and other Phi Delta Theta (Auburn  University) pledges had to be the "cheap entertainment" for a Christmas party and dress like elves. See Hank Nuwer's Wrongs of Passage for a lengthy treatment of Chad's death. Phi Delta Theta, its web site, and international officers have become well known for innovative anti-hazing programs and no-tolerance statements. Phi Delta Theta sponsors the "Hank Nuwer Anti-Hazing Hero Awards" to five individuals who show heroism in speaking out againts hazing--be it in Greek life, band, athletics, clubs or pro sports and the job force. Mother Rita Saucier during the 1990s became one of the nation's best-known national activists to advocate anti-hazing programs with her Mobile, Alabama bill board, letter to Ann Landers, and countless TV appearances.

December 10 In 2008 the University of New Hampshire cited its glee club "The New Hampsire Gentlemen" for hazing and alcohol violations.

December 11  University of Vermont ex-goalie Corey LaTulippe sued the school's hockey coach, president and teammates aster a sexual hazing that led to the team's hockey season being cancelled. 1999

December 12  A midshipman charged he was forced to stand on his head until he passed out at the Naval Academy. 1905

December 13  Kevin Lawless died Dec. 13, 1999 during Hell Night drinking for the subrosa Sigma Tau Omega at Iona. A judge threw out the mother's lawsuit against Iona, saying a school had no duty to protect the well being of students.

An advocate of teaching discipline by beating youngsters killed a boy and drew a reference to physical hazing in Japan with athletes.  I found this useful getting into the heads of physical hazing abusers. Dec. 13, 1983

December 14  Freshmen and sophomore women at the University of Cincinnati came to blows over a foolish sophomore edict in 1905.  Security outfit based in Afghanistan was accused of sexually hazing its recruits in 2009.

The University of Alberta Delta Kappa Epsilon chapter received nationwide criticism, as did the international fraternity after a 2010 incident.

December 15  Congress issued a resolution calling for an investigation into hazing at the Naval Academy in 1905. Scroll down for more specifics.

December 16 In 2006, two members of the FAMU Kappa Alpha Psi chapter were sentenced in the beating of a pledge.

December 17 Anthony Clarke intitially faced four serious counts of hazing and more for an incident that occurred when he played football for Blackfoot High School in Idaho. He transferred from Boise State to play football for Carroll College in Montana. He was sentenced to thirty days in jail for disturbing the peace. A key witness refused to testify in the sexual assault charge.  2) Allegations of sexual assault rock a Virginia high school.

Also on December 17, a high school hazing reveals serious flaw in Nevada law or perhaps this officer's interprettation of it.  It is not mandatory to report incidents of hazing student to student in Nevada--at least this article says that.

On December 18, 1996 A hazing at the Citadel sees two more student suspensions. Two female cadets say men lighted clothes on fire.

December 19, 2008 The Pi Kappa Alpha chapter at Northern Arizona University was suspended five years for branding pledges with dry ice.

December 20 Two Colorado Kappa Alpha Theta members were injured in a case police said failed to meet the specific definition of hazing.

December 21, 2008  Rookie Sam Querrey was asked to sing karaoke in a hotel lobby in front of 200 USTA members.

December 22 Fred P. Bronner died on this date in 1972. He was already a member but three Chi Chi Chi brothers at Pierce College abducted him anyway and dropped him in the mountains without glasses. Bronner had very poor eyesight and plunged to his death off a 500-foot cliff trying to get back to campus.  It took many days for rescuers to find the body.

December 23 Serious charges were brought against Westlake High School wrestlers in 1997 but the case went nowhere soon afterward and was dropped.

December 24  A Texas grand jury condemned the hazing death of handcuffed University of Texas pledge Mark Seeburger, 18, but refused to indict his Phi Kappa Psi brothers who drove him in a van as he lay dying.

December 25 Trenmore Coffin Jr. and Stephen Decatur Jr. at Annapolis were accused of hazing Jerdone P. Kimbrough. 1905

December 29 Annapolis hazing case.  "The first of the series of trials of midshipmen for hazing began today, when Trenmore Coffin, Jr., of the third class, was up before a court of five members on the charge of hazing Jerdone P. Kimbrough, a "plebe," or fourth class man."

Also December 29, Phi Gamma Delta chapter at University of Kansas sued (2010) by Fiji pledge Matt Fritzie.

December 31  The horrors of Russian hazing revealed by the ambutation and genitalia loss of Andrey Sychov.  2005

January 1  In 1869, Sigma Nu was founded this day as an anti-hazing organization. Sigma Nu's founders disapproved of the hazing they had seen while cadets at Virginia Military Institute.

January 2  On Jan. 2, 2009, West Point cadet Gordon Fein shot and killed himself while at home in North Carolina on leave. Many pointed to stress of grades and hazing in the prestigious military college.


January 5  Education site publishes Hazing and Civil Liability. 1910

January 8 Four sophomore student hazers were granted clemency at the request of Kingdon Gould, the hazed Columbia University freshman.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Student hazing death in Britain
18-year-old "Fresher" Alex Doji of Staffordshire University died in 2003 following an alcohol ceremony. His was considered an athletic hazing death. He was a newcomer on the rugby team. Source

January 14  The Citadel in 1997 became the focus of stunning revelations as female cadets found a cold reception from male cadets at the South Carolina school.

January 20, 1901  Mark Twain blasts hazers at West Point as "bullies and cowards."

January 22 Prairie View A & M fraternity member Marvin Jackson takes responsibility for the death of Phi Beta Sigma pledge Donnie Wade II but is never charged.

January 23 In 1989, antihazing activist Eileen Stevens spoke out against a rash of serious hazing incidents.

January 28, 2010 Rutgers chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho accused of mental and physical hazing.

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