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Examining a 1904 case at M. A. C.

Student Henry Johnson of rural Lyons, Michigan, entered Michigan Agricultural College on December 3, 1904, for so-called special study. The Detroit Free Press reported later that on December 7, he became violently insane. He died the following month of a cerebral hemorrhage. His father claimed the boy must have been hazed. President Snyder of M.A.C. ordered an investigation. However, no evidence of hazing or any witness to hazing was discovered. Newspapers of the day pondered the question of whether he might have been hazed. Nothing concrete ever was established to rule his death a hazing-related incident. See Detroit Free Press, January 13, 1905. –Moderator Hank Nuwer. Nonetheless, while lacking proof in this case, hazing at M.A.C. was rampant.

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; 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 current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily--http://realalaskadaily.com and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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