Hazing News

Non-hazing fraternal death: MIT quarterback Robert Wells dies

Sat Mar 1, 2008 10:25 pm (PST)
Boston Herald
March 2, 2008

MIT senior dies in plunge from Back Bay frat house

By O’Ryan Johnson

A Massachusetts Institute of Technology senior died after plummeting from
the fifth floor of his Back Bay fraternity house early yesterday morning,
officials said.

The dead man was identified by the college as Robert Wells, 22, a
quarterback on the school’s football team, who was originally from Ballston
Spa, N.Y.

“We are terribly saddened to learn of the death,” MIT executive director of
communications Pamela Dumas Serfes wrote in a statement. “This is a tragedy
for his family, friends and the entire MIT community, and our hearts go out
to all of them during this difficult time.”

Boston police said they responded about 5:44 a.m. to the Delta Upsilon frat
house on Beacon Street, where Boston EMS pronounced the victim dead at the
scene. Police said an investigation into the young man’s death is under way.

In addition to football, Wells played water polo at the college. The
college said he studied brain and cognitive science. A man who answered the
door of the fraternity house declined to comment, and directed calls to MIT.

An MIT student who lives next door said Wells fell from a window on the
fifth floor to a spot in a parking lot. Mourning students gathered in large
groups around tables inside the fraternity house last night. Well-wishers
brought his fraternity brothers several trays of food.

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. In April of 2024, the Alaska Press Club awarded him first place in the Best Columnist division and Best Humorist, second place.

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-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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