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Hipps’ mystery still unanswered

Over a dozen people gathered on the bridge, located to the southwest of Clemson’s campus on S.C. Highway 93, to remember the life of Tucker Hipps, who died on Sept. 22, 2014, during an early morning pledge run.
The gathering took place Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022, and it was an opportunity for friends and family to offer their prayers to the Hipps family and renew their commitment to discover what really happened to Tucker Hipps in September 2014.
“I’m not a big fan of this bridge,” Gary Hipps, father of Tucker Hipps, told The Seneca Journal. “I am not big fan of this lake, not a big fan of this area.”
“If my mother didn’t live here, I doubt I’d come to Clemson very often. There’s a lot of reasons for that.”
It is still uncomfortable for Gary and Cindy Hipps to come to the site of their son’s death, despite all the support they have received from the community.
Cindy Hipps told The Seneca Journal, “That’s amazing that we still have so much support and we have lots more people that want to see justice in this case.”
Since Tucker Hipps died on a fraternity pledge run, Gary and Cindy Hipps have been working to prevent future tragedies of the same nature.
“We’re left with the strong sense that something nefarious happened to Tucker that day, and there are people who know what happened to him,” Gary Hipps said.
The Hipps’ are still looking for answers because, “it still does make a difference,” Gary Hipps said. “We live in a country where if people get away with things like the deaths of students and there’s no repercussions for that, then there’s no incentive to do better.”
Gary and Cindy Hipps are hopeful that they will one day receive answers about their son’s death.
When the Clemson chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon filed to return to Clemson University, Gary Hipps spoke up. He told the board of trustees that any fraternity with a history of hazing, involving the harm or the death of a student, should not be coming back.
There are still persisting problems in fraternities, despite the South Carolina General Assembly passing the Tucker Hipps Transparency Act.
Gary and Cindy Hipps are helping to pass the federal Report and Educate About Campus Hazing Act. The act is a bipartisan bill sponsored by U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.
Cindy Hipps wants people to contact their senators and ask them to sign this act.
“The universities will have to educate on hazing, which I thought all universities did,” Cindy Hipps told The Seneca Journal. “That’s one thing about Clemson is they do a great job educating students on hazing. They have great programs.”
According to Crime Stoppers of Oconee County coordinator Helen Westmoreland, there is still a $100,000 reward for information that leads to the solving of Tucker Hipps’ death through the end of the year.
Tips can be left by phone at 1-800-CRIME-SC (888-274-6372) or the sheriff’s office criminal investigation bureau at (864) 718-1052 for Jimmy Dixon.
Tips can also be left online at, by clicking “submit a new tip” on, or by downloading the P3 Tips App.

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