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A long ignored NIU Pi Kappa Phi hazing tragedy

Now listed on this site’s Hazing Deaths page

1960

Pi Kappa Phi

Northern Illinois University (Dekalb, IL)

Fatality following unsanctioned pledge party (auto accident)

Alcohol had been provided to pledges and members at an unsanctioned NIU party prior to a horrific collision at 100 mph of a Greyhound bus and speeding, out-of-control 1957 convertible. The force of the impact disintegrated the vehicle into more than 100 pieces and made identification of bodies difficult. Four died in the accident that included one pledge and four senior members in the car. (The bus driver was unhurt, and no passengers were on board). Killed instantly were Harry Lamphier, Jr., 24, freshman William Gustafson, 18, William Kempfer, 19. John Pauls, 19, died later at a hospital. The driver who lived was Raymond Uramkin, a junior, age 20 then and now 80 as of 2019. Three chapter officers faced charges of providing the alcohol, including Dean Schneck.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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