In 2017, Max Gruver tragically died as a result of hazing at the Louisiana Beta Chapter of Phi Delta Theta at Louisiana State University. The destructive behavior of now-expelled members of the former LSU chapter violated Phi Delta Theta’s values and various health, safety, and anti-hazing policies. In addition, it is a grievous example of the dangers of hazing and the need for better education and prevention methods.
Following Max’s death, Rae Ann and Steve Gruver created The Max Gruver Foundation. The Foundation strives to generate awareness, promote education, strengthen policy, and advocate for state and federal legislation that will increase transparency, classify hazing as a felony, improve hazing education, encourage bystanders to assist individuals in need, and promote other aspects of hazing prevention. The Gruvers also seek to create change and spread awareness through speaking engagements to tell their son’s story.
In our continual effort to be a leader among fraternities in promoting health and safety initiatives to protect its members and guests, the Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity is honored to announce a partnership with the Gruver family and The Max Gruver Foundation to celebrate the life and memory of Max and to help eradicate hazing. This cooperative relationship will provide unique opportunities for both Phi Delta Theta and The Max Gruver Foundation to work together to strengthen educational efforts aimed at preventing future tragedies.
This partnership announcement occurred January 10, 2020 at the Presidents Leadership Conference in St. Louis, Missouri where nearly 300 Phi Delta Theta attendees comprised of undergraduate presidents, new member educators, and alumni leaders heard Max’s story, the impact of Max’s death on the Gruver family, and the sustained joint commitment that this partnership will create to eliminate hazing.
For more information on Phi Delta Theta’s health and safety policies, please visit https://phideltatheta.org/about/health_safety/. To find out more about The Max Gruver Foundation and additional ways you can help, please visit maxgruverfoundation.com.