Fraternity Antics from Rev. Bob Miller '59

I had lived on a farm five miles west of Plymouth all my life, but was unaware of Mission House College and Seminary until I came for enrollment in the summer of 1955. I was a Lutheran at the time. Continuing to run the family farm, I pledged a fraternity. One night of hazing involved being blindfolded, taken out into the country and dropped off all by myself. I suspect I was off toward Manitowoc with no idea of direction on this very dark night. I started to walk with considerable concern. It was probably a half hour before a state cop picked me up, checked my ID and took me back to campus. Upon my arrival, I found my car up on blocks. Returning to the frat room for help, I found looks on faces but no words that communicated “guilty." It was probably my pleading that I had to be up at 4:00 AM to milk 24 cows that convinced enough of them to come lift my car off of the blocks so I could head for home. To anyone who helped me that night, THANK YOU!

The following was submitted in response to the above story:

The late Herb Meussling '46 and I had a similar hell week experience. We were blindfolded and driven to the darkest part of Sheboygan County. We had to pledge not to get assistance in our attempt to walk back to the campus. We could have been in the center of Africa for all we knew but, being good, faithful freshmen like we were, we obeyed all the rules and went to a farmhouse. Beating on the door at 2:00 in the morning, we asked the farmer for directions back to MHC/Lakeland. That poor farmer! He must have thought there were some screws loose over there at the campus. Anyway, we walked back--we couldn't hitch a ride because nobody with any sense was out at that time of the morning. We were tired, but we had a special bond after that.

I also remember that the plebes had to make their own paddles, which were used on their rears when the frat members took turns whacking away. My hinder, and the hinder parts of several other plebes, had skin breaks from the padding. Some sympathetic senior announced that, once the skin broke, there was to be no more paddling on that behind. I guess such behavior did not damage us much, but today one questions the advisability of such actions. I am unaware as to whether paddling still goes on at initiation time today.

Carroll J. Olm '46

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