Feb 23, 2024

Phi Delta Theta’s Commitment to Eradicate Hazing

Hazing Prevention The Scroll News
Phi Delta Theta’s Commitment to Eradicate Hazing

On February 22, 2024, ABC News released season two, episode four, of Death in the Dorms on Hulu. Episode four features the tragic story of Max Gruver’s death.

Phi Delta Theta holds the safety of every member of the Fraternity, as well as the members of their campuses and communities in the highest regard. The organization does not tolerate any actions that directly contradict its values and policies and holds strict rulings against members who violate Fraternity expectations or the law. Phi Delta Theta does not condone any form of hazing and spends great resources educating about its dangers and consequences. If discovered, the Fraternity takes swift disciplinary action against chapters or individuals responsible. Hazing is contrary to the purpose of fraternity, let alone Phi Delta Theta Fraternity.

In September 2017, the death of Max Gruver proved Phi Delta Theta wasn’t doing enough to fight hazing. Since then, the Fraternity has worked to restructure its approach. Through partnerships with the Max Gruver Foundation and the Anti-Hazing Coalition, we are working together to educate and eradicate the behavior.

Partnership with Max Gruver Foundation

Following Max’s death, Rae Ann and Steve Gruver created The Max Gruver Foundation. In January 2020, Phi Delta Theta announced its partnership with The Max Gruver Foundation. This relationship provides unique opportunities to work together to strengthen educational efforts to prevent future tragedies.

Our partnership with the Max Gruver Foundation has led to additional efforts. In February 2022, Phi Delta Theta joined the Anti-Hazing Coalition. This coalition is an unprecedented collaboration between families who have lost a child to hazing, to establish laws that provide consequences for hazing. Phi Delta Theta has used its network and has supported Capitol Hill lobbying efforts, including the Stop Campus Hazing Act (S.2901, H.R. 5646).

Anti-Hazing Education

In the fall of 2022, it became apparent that anti-hazing conversations and education need to begin before students enter college. As a result, Phi Delta Theta expanded its partnership with the Max Gruver Foundation by assisting with the education of high school students. Phi Delta Theta Fraternity and the Max Gruver Foundation created Take Action: Building New Traditions to further anti-hazing education in high schools to ensure that no more lives are affected by hazing.

Our efforts with the Anti-Hazing Coalition, the Gruver family, and The Max Gruver Foundation celebrate the life and memory of Max while working to eradicate hazing. Through this partnership, we have initiated a grassroots effort to mobilize members, volunteers, friends, and families to join in the measures to establish laws that provide transparency and true consequences to this behavior that directly contradicts our values.


Founded at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, on December 26, 1848, Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity has 194 chapters and emerging chapters and 85 alumni clubs across the United States and Canada. To date, the Fraternity has initiated nearly 280,000 men into the society whose founding principles are Friendship, Sound Learning, and Rectitude. In 2000, Phi Delta Theta became the largest fraternity to implement an alcohol-free housing policy in all facilities. Guided today by its Phi Delt 2030 strategic plan, Phi Delta Theta’s vision is to be recognized as the premier fraternal leadership development society in North America.

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