Family of deceased student sues HPU, alleges fraternity hazing

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High Point University

HIGH POINT, N.C. — The family of a fraternity pledge who died in 2012 is suing High Point University, claiming that hazing led to his death.

The Greensboro News & Record reported that the family of 22-year-old Robert Eugene Tipton Jr. filed the suit on Wednesday.

The Memphis, Tenn. native died on March 26, 2012. He tried pledging Delta Sigma Phi in the spring of 2012.

Tipton was allegedly told to attend a “counseling session” at the apartment of fraternity member Marshall Jefferson on March 25.

Jefferson is accused of violently assaulting and battering Tipton, who suffered blunt force trauma to the head, resulting in his death, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also alleges that the son of university president Nido Qubein was among the instigators of the alleged hazing.

High Point University released the following statement on the issue:

“The University has been informed of a lawsuit regarding the off-campus death of Robert Tipton occurring nearly two years ago.  We remain saddened by the loss of Robert.

The University believes the lawsuit against it is unfounded and will defend itself in this litigation.

As a lawsuit is now pending, it is not appropriate for the University to make additional comment.”


  • annonymous

    That is the most ridiculous thing i’ve ever heard. I knew the kid, He was a pill head. More than likely ODed.

    • Anonymous

      You obviously did not know the kid very well. It was probably an OD but it was an accident. You have know idea who he was or what he was going to. Please refrain from speaking ill of the deceased.

      • Anonymous_HPU

        Rob was a friend of mine, who made some poor decisions, but no one would ever talk ill of him, especially any of the brothers of Delta Sigma Phi. Rob was loved by so many, no one would ever do anything to hurt his well-being. His friends and mere acquaintances have only loving, good things to say about him. Everyone misses his contagious smile dearly.

  • Anonymous

    This is an absolutely ludicrous example of free speech. The fact that a “reliable” news station can post complete and blatant lies incriminating ometely innocent people should be illegal.

  • Anonymous

    This is probably the true case. Delta sig at Hpu is a drug related fraternity to the extreme. I was a student at Hpu and they weren’t the only ones who hazed, but they were some of the worst. They have done shit like this before and only were on campus because of an anonymous donation to nationals.

  • Anonymous

    Finally this university has been caught with their hands filthy dirty. This is not the first time they have had “incidents”. Open your eyes High Point. Is this the type of man we want our city to be connected with at this time? Don’t let the love of money blind you!

  • Anonymous

    To those who say it was the pills that killed him, “suffered blunt force trauma to the head”…..never have known pills to cause this medical condition.
    Not the first cover up for this university. Keep digging, there is so much more to this story and others that have been kept out of the High Point media because of the corrupt leadership of the President of HPU.

    • Bryan Ingram

      Because no other school has ever had a hazing problem. Instead of blaming the school for something one student/fraternity how about you focus on the individuals involved.

      • Anonymous

        The univeristy is controlled by these so leaders. Blaming the entire HPU organization for allowing these things to happen on their campus is exactly what needs to happen to show students, parents and others that all that gitters is not GOLD!

    • J Kane

      The suit alleges “blunt force trauma”. You claim it as fact? The official medical exam says overdose – of prescription narcotics. This is a sad situation, but seems a stretch to label hazing and conspiracy when it didnt even happen on campus.

      • anonymous

        Tipton died at The Crossing Apartment Complex. Not HPU campus. It’s about 10 minutes from campus. It’s one thing to assume everything in the civil suit is true, another to lie about where it happened.

  • Anonymous

    This is such a sad story. Regardless of what school it is or where it is…hazing is wrong and I know that many schools do their best to keep it from happening. I’m a Greek alumni of this school and never experienced hazing nor did anyone I know. This young man was probably doing what many young people do and was experiencing the college life the way they wanted to. It is tragic that his life was cut so short and I do hope that the truth is revealed to help the family grieve.

  • Jangles

    Man forget High Point University. The residents of HP HATE this school. All it is are a bunch of spoiled entitlement minded kids from up north who crash on this town.

    • Anonymous

      First responders sent by High Point police. So that makes their story true? You must not have lived in this city long to know that the police have been in Qubein’s backpocket for some time.

  • Anonymous

    This kid was heavy into benzos and opiates. The people named in the article were some of his best friends and would never have laid a hand on him.

    • Anonymous

      Plenty of hazing is done to so called “best friends”. That’s the whole idea of a brotherhood. But to lose a child because of the lying of the university & police cover up is too frightful to ignore.

  • Friend

    The student was addicted to these drugs, and it’s a shame that a lawsuit filled with presumed accusations is published as news. The autopsy never found bruises to the head, but mysteriously a random doctor now sees them two years later? Sadly an overdose killed him as the medical examiner and police initially found. No need to grab at a chance to sue the university for a students own unfortunate mistake.

  • Frank

    HPU is a fascade of pretty buildings an pretty people. It is a pay for play school – Rich northeasterners pay to live in a faux world of pretentiousness in an illusionary neverland, surrounded by the mediocrity that is inner city High Point.

    • fullltyme

      And you are a wordy windbag. I’m an alum who took out loans to attend and so did many of my friends. This is a horrible thing for a family and university community. My heart goes out to the mom, I’m sure she remains hurt. But my heart also goes out to campus and students who are being dragged through the mud.

    • Mr. Papageorgio

      Rich northeasterners? I have had several former students attend HPU and are not even close to being rich and are from right here in the Piedmont.

      • Frank

        Of course there are students from the piedmont. That doesn’t change the fact many are upper class northeasterners. Nothing wrong with that, just a fact.

  • Mark

    Maybe the family can also say a chimp did it and sue for 150 million. It’s just as believable as their other “reason.”

  • Annonymous

    I was really good friends with him and rob had the biggest drug problem. There was no way he went a night without taking large amounts of drugs. Poor marshal, his best friend for being accused of that. What a horrible family

  • Annonymous

    I would encourage the family of the deceased to continue to dig hard into this case. You have more leverage than you realize. It is a known fact that Qubein covers up and cleans up behind his son. The High Point police department, local media, “friends” of the university, and especially his own Board of Trustees and VP’s …are all compromised making if extremely difficult for you to get to the truth. Don’t give up! Don’t ever give up!

  • f.u. cox

    HPU grad here…class of ’00. the Sig’s were always on probation and between the Sigs and Pikes….biggest druggies and pills heads on campus. unintentional OD doesn’t surprise me. condolences to his family though. You don’t send your kids off to college to die…

  • Anonymous

    I was a student at HPU and let me say I was so excited to go there, absolutely fell in love. Then I got there and HATED it. I’m not going to say these parents are right or wrong, but I do know that school will cover up any and everything that can give them a bad rep. I was even told by a an HPU counselor about several incidents that had been reported to the school and covered up. Furthermore, the amount of hazing I saw was beyond ridiculous. After leaving I was hoping karma would come back to that awful school and hopefully this family gives them what they deserve.

  • Disappointed Parent

    As an HPU parent I have been extremely disappointed in the integrity of the President and his staff. They absolutely protect those that cause trouble. Drug us is rampant and HPU is aware and it is covered up and the students are threatened with sanctions if discussed. The students who are not involved pay the price of living with this behavior. Do not send your child here. The mental anguish and fear that they suffer is not worth it. HPE-check the student retention rate. I will not recommend this University to anyone.

    • Anonymous

      Took our child out many years before this incident because of what our child was telling us about the cover ups of several incidents he saw in person. He saw that the President’s son and friends were getting away with things that other students were wrote up for doing on campus. This lawsuit is just the tip of the iceberg of corruption at HPU.

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