Did you know many colleges and universities operate their
own cemeteries as places for faculty and staff and their families to be
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.
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.
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)
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.”