Mother vows to end hazing on college campuses after her son's death

Rae Ann Gruver wants college hazing to end after her son died.
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Rae Ann Gruver wants college hazing to end after her son died.

Credit: WSBTV.com

Credit: WSBTV.com

A local mother wants to end hazing on college campuses after it killed her son.

Max Gruver was just 18-years-old and a freshman at Louisiana State University when he died last September.

A group of family and friends came together to paint in Gruver's memory at a Painting with a Twist location.

With each brush stroke, they created a memory for a young man whose life was cut too short.

"At his funeral, when we were laying him to rest, a beautiful butterfly flew over," his mother, Rae Ann Gruver said.

It was the first time she opened up about losing her son and the mission of the painting party, which was a fundraiser for a bigger cause.

“Hazing needs to change. It’s so pointless and so senseless. It is not what makes you a brother to somebody,” she said.

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Her desire to end hazing comes after Gruver's death following an apparent hazing incident during a night of heavy drinking at the Phi Delta Theta fraternity at LSU.

"Those boys killed him, they fed him too much alcohol. They forced him to do it. Taking 190 proof alcohol shots. When he was down, no one did anything to help him," she said.


According to court documents, Max and other pledges participated in a game dubbed "Bible Study," where pledges were asked questions about the fraternity and ordered to drink alcohol if they answered the questions incorrectly.

Max died the next day.

Ten students have been arrested in connection with his death. Of those ten, four have been indicted, one has been charged with negligent homicide. The other three for hazing.

They will all be arraigned on Thursday in Louisiana.

His parents say, an autopsy revealed he had “a highly elevated blood alcohol level plus the presence of THC.”

"I never want to see a family have to go through this," Rae Ann Gruver said.

Since she knows she cannot bring her son back, she has started the Max Gruver Foundation.

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