(ODD)yssey

The cemetery run by the University of the South is a beautiful and fascinating place

Did you know many colleges and universities operate their own cemeteries as places for faculty and staff and their families to be interred?

Until last year, I had no idea. It appears as if many of the oldest university-run cemeteries are in the northeast, which makes sense, but the one we stumbled upon was at The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn.

Angel at the University of the South Cemetery in Sewanee, Tenn. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)

Construction on the University of the South was begun in 1860 but was stopped during the Civil War. It is known for its gorgeous stone buildings.

You can see photos of the campus here.

The cemetery is a fascinating old burial ground with beautifully carved monuments and a really cool angel statue. According to an online history, it is the resting place for a number of men who founded and helped organize the Episcopalian university, including some who died in the Civil War.

We thought the professors’ graves marked with crosses were fascinating but the two most note-worthy graves were:

Elizabeth Shippen Green (1871-1954)

Grave of Elizabeth Shippen Green (Photo by Kelly Kazek | Permission Required)

Green was an illustrator for magazines and 19 children’s books, including “Lamb’s Tales of Shakespeare,” “The Five Little Pigs” and “A Child’s Garden of Verses.”

The Rev. John Paul Carter (1923-1997)

His simple headstone is notable for the humorous inscription on the plaque, which says, “While he lived, he was alive.”

Grave of Rev. John Paul Carter (Photo by Kelly Kazek | Permission Required)
University of the South Cemetery in Sewanee, Tenn. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
University of the South Cemetery in Sewanee, Tenn. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
University of the South Cemetery in Sewanee, Tenn. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
University of the South Cemetery in Sewanee, Tenn. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
This marker honoring a founder of the University of the South was moved from campus to the cemetery because he was a Confederate general and a slave owner. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
University of the South Cemetery in Sewanee, Tenn. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
University of the South Cemetery in Sewanee, Tenn. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
University of the South Cemetery in Sewanee, Tenn. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
University of the South Cemetery in Sewanee, Tenn. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
University of the South Cemetery in Sewanee, Tenn. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
University of the South Cemetery in Sewanee, Tenn. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
University of the South Cemetery in Sewanee, Tenn. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
University of the South Cemetery in Sewanee, Tenn. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
University of the South Cemetery in Sewanee, Tenn. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
University of the South Cemetery in Sewanee, Tenn. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
University of the South Cemetery in Sewanee, Tenn. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
University of the South Cemetery in Sewanee, Tenn. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
University of the South Cemetery in Sewanee, Tenn. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
University of the South Cemetery in Sewanee, Tenn. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
University of the South Cemetery in Sewanee, Tenn. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)
University of the South Cemetery in Sewanee, Tenn. (Photo by Wil Elrick | Permission Required)

5 thoughts on “The cemetery run by the University of the South is a beautiful and fascinating place”

  1. My great great great grandfather was Allen Casher Gipson who donated a little over 70 acres to build the university prior to the Civil War. He and other members of his line are buried in the University of the South cemetery. My other set of great great great grandparents – Friedrich and Maria Hunziker, as well as their children – are also buried in another part of the cemetery although I am not 100% sure if they were affiliated with the building of the University of the South or were able to secure a family plot due to Allen’s patronage. Enjoyed your article!

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  2. Do you know who is in charge of ‘The Sewanee Cemetery Association’ listed on markers all over the grounds? Many stones need cleaning and repair.

    Like

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