Partnership Established with Max Gruver Foundation


In 2017, Max Gruver tragically died from 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. The legislation 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.

Phi Delta Theta announced a partnership with the Gruver family and The Max Gruver Foundation to celebrate Max’s life and memory and help eradicate hazing. The cooperative relationship provides unique opportunities for Phi Delta Theta and The Max Gruver Foundation to work together to strengthen educational efforts to prevent future tragedies. This collaboration aligns with Phi Delta Theta’s continual effort to be a leader among fraternities in promoting health and safety initiatives to protect its members and guests.

The partnership announcement occurred on January 10, 2020, at the Presidents Leadership Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. Nearly three hundred Phi Delta Theta attendees comprised undergraduate presidents, new member educators, and alumni leaders who heard Max’s story, the impact of Max’s death on the Gruver family, and the sustained joint commitment that the partnership creates to eliminate hazing.