The Gordie Foundation

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Gordie Center for Substance Abuse Prevention
Gordietag-1 small.jpg
Founded 2004
Founder Mr. Michael Lanahan
Mrs. Leslie Lanahan
Type Health Education
Focus Alcohol and Hazing Education
  • Gordie Center for Substance Abuse Prevention
    University of Virginia
    P.O. Box 800139
    Charlottesville, VA 22903
Origins Following the 2004 hazing death of Lynn Gordon Bailey Jr. ("Gordie") at the University of Colorado Boulder
Area served
United States, Canada
Slogan "Save a Life. Make the Call."

The Gordie Foundation[1] is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was founded in Dallas, Texas.[2] The Foundation's mission[3] is "to provide today's young people with the skills to navigate the dangers of alcohol, binge drinking, peer pressure and hazing." The Gordie Foundation was created in memory of 18-year-old Gordie Bailey who died on September 17, 2004 following a hazing incident involving alcohol in the Chi Psi[4] fraternity house at the University of Colorado campus in Boulder, Colorado. Actress Robin Wright is the Honorary Spokesperson for The Gordie Foundation.

In the summer of 2010, the Gordie Foundation and the University of Virginia Center for Alcohol and Substance Education merged to form the Gordie Center for Substance Abuse Prevention.[5] All operations that were previously under the Gordie Foundation are currently maintained through the Gordie Center, now located in Charlottesville, Virginia.[6]


On the evening of September 16, 2004, Lynn Gordon Bailey Jr. ("Gordie") and twenty-six other Chi Psi pledges dressed in coats and ties for "bid night" were taken blindfolded to the Arapaho Roosevelt National Forest where they were told to consume four 1.75 liter bottles of 80-proof Ten High Bourbon Whiskey and six 1.5 liter bottles of Carlo Rossi wine around a bonfire in 30 minutes. Older active fraternity men stated to the group that “no one is leaving here until these are gone.” When the group returned to the Fraternity Lodge, Gordie was visibly intoxicated and did not drink any more. He was placed on a couch to “sleep it off” at approximately 11:00pm. Later in the evening, while Gordie was unconscious, his brothers used permanent markers[7] to scrawl demeaning sayings and pictures on all parts of his body. Gordie was left alone for 10 hours before he was found dead[8] the next morning, face down on the floor.


Following Gordie's death, his mother Leslie Lanahan brought legal action against the Alpha Psi Delta chapter of Chi Psi, located in Boulder, Colorado. Following four and a half years of negotiation, the two sides agreed to a settlement in March 2009. Among the terms, Chi Psi agreed that Gordie had indeed been hazed by brothers of the chapter on the evening of September 16, 2004. The national fraternity also agreed to use Gordie's story in all pledge education about hazing, as well as to require that all chapters, or "Alphas", recruit a live-in adult supervisor. In accordance with a request by Chi Psi, details of the financial portion of the settlement cannot be disclosed.


Gordie Bailey (1986-2004)

Gordie was 18 years old when he died.[9] One month earlier, he had enrolled as a freshman at the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business. In his four weeks at the University, Gordie had been named to the club lacrosse team and had become a pledge at Chi Psi Fraternity. Gordie went to Colorado after three years at Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Massachusetts where he participated in athletics, music and drama. In his senior year he was co-captain of the varsity football team playing both middle linebacker and offensive guard. He also started at defense on the school’s New England championship lacrosse team.

While a senior, Gordie mentored younger students as a Proctor in an underclass dormitory. In his spare time, he and his fellow Proctors made humorous videos with their Proctees. Prior to attending Deerfield, Gordie attended St. Mark’s School of Texas in Dallas and The Lamplighter School, also in Dallas.

The GORDIEcheck[edit]

The Gordie Foundation focuses on public awareness of the consequences of alcohol abuse among students. For example, alcohol-related incidents claim the lives of over 1700 students annually.[10] The Gordie Foundation encourages students to take responsibility for their friends. For example, the Foundation encourages students to "save a life" and "make the call" for help to prevent another senseless tragedy. Another of their educational phrases is, "Friends Check Friends." I.e., never leave an intoxicated person alone to "sleep off" the effects of alcohol. The amount of alcohol it takes to pass out is dangerously close to the amount it takes to kill.[11] Use the acronym PUBS to check for signs of alcohol poisoning: Puking while passed out, Unresponsive (to pinching or stimuli), Breathing (irregular, slow or none at all), Skin (cold, blue or clammy).[12] Any of these should trigger a call to 911, as should a slowing in the heart rate or respiratory rate. [13]

Gordie's Call Campaign[edit]

Gordie's Call is a national campaign with a mission to prevent alcohol abuse and hazing through the use of peer intervention among young adults. The primary campaign initiative is to eliminate deaths from alcohol abuse and hazing, challenge attitudes about the true risks of these activities, and to promote healthy campus environments.[14]

HAZE the documentary[edit]

The Gordie Foundation, with director Pete Schuermann, has produced both a full-length and a shortened, content edited documentary film entitled HAZE[15] that explores the environment on today’s college campuses that leads to alcohol-related deaths like Gordie's. Highlighting many aspects of Gordie’s story, the film illuminates the heavily veiled and largely misunderstood realm of college binge and competitive drinking and hazing, and the continually mounting risks associated with such behavior. HAZE features graphic and disturbing scenes of the real-life consequences of alcohol abuse and acts of hazing perpetrated against young men and women by their peers. Psychologists, researchers, college student affairs personnel and students themselves offer valuable insights into the environment many college students and even high school students encounter during what are intended to be formative and enlightening years. What emerges is evidence of an unsettling trend[16] toward recklessness and overindulgence which most students regard with ambivalence.

HAZE has been selected to be screened at several prestigious film festivals, including its premiere at the Hamptons International Film Festival.[citation needed] It has also been selected to be shown in 2009 at the Dallas International Film Festival.[citation needed] the Newport Beach Film Festival[citation needed] and the Indie Spirit Film Festival[citation needed] in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In 2011, it was shown at the Virginia Film Festival[citation needed] in Charlottesville, Virginia.

National GORDIEday[edit]

National GORDIEday[17] is held annually in the fall, with the seventh-annual event scheduled to take place on September 25, 2014 in conjunction with National Hazing Prevention Week[18] events center on spreading awareness about the dangers of binge and competitive drinking, the warning signs of alcohol poisoning, and the inherent risks involved with hazing. Events include handing out awareness materials, posting flyers, screening the documentary HAZE and hosting speakers.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gordie Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (Last Modified: Wednesday, 19-Feb-2014). "GORDIE'S CALL, A national campaign to prevent alcohol abuse and hazing". Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. Retrieved 2014-02-23.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ 2715 Swiss Ave (1970-01-01). "2715 Swiss avenue, Dallas, TX - Google Maps". Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  3. ^ [1] Archived July 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Chi Psi Central Office - The Chi Psi Educational Trust. "About Chi Psi". Chi Psi Fraternity. Retrieved 2014-02-23. 
  5. ^ Gordie Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (Last Modified: Wednesday, 19-Feb-2014). "About Us". The Gordie Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. Gordie Center. Retrieved 2014-02-25.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. ^ Anderfuren, Marian (September 16, 2010). "Gordie Foundation Merges With U.Va.'s Alcohol and Substance Education Center". UVA Today (University of Virginia). Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  7. ^ "Passed Out with shoes on". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Paid Notice - Deaths BAILEY, LYNN GORDON, JR. - Paid Death Notice -". New York Times. 2004-09-26. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  10. ^ "Magnitude of Alcohol-Related Mortality And Morbidity Among U.S. College Students Ages 18–24: Changes from 1998 to 2001". 
  11. ^ "prevention and intervention program for high school and college students". Facts on Tap. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ "HAZE: The Movie". Gordie Center for Substance Abuse Prevention at the University of Virginia. Last Modified: 19-Feb-2014. Retrieved 2014-02-26.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  16. ^ Wechsler, H; Lee JE; Kuo M; Seibring M; Nelson TF; Lee H (2002). "Trends in College Binge Drinking During a Period of Increased Prevention Efforts: Findings From 4 Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study Surveys: 1993-2001". Journal of American College Health. 50 (5): 203–217. doi:10.1080/07448480209595713. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  17. ^
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External links[edit]