(Letter published in our local paper the other day.)
While walking around The Arboretum at Penn State the other day, I noticed various signs indicating that a particular tree was in honor of someone or a bench was in memory of someone. And that gave me an idea for raising funds to support the arboretum.
Use the event lawn as a cemetery. The event lawn is that wide open green space you see as you stand at the pavilion and look toward campus.
This is not the first time someone has proposed burial on Penn State property. Decades ago, before Beaver Stadium had lights, a sportswriter at the Centre Daily Times proposed selling plots in Beaver Stadium to raise money for the lights. He was kidding. I’m not.
Think of all the alumni who always want to come back to campus. They could be there in perpetuity. And if they lived in East Halls or endured Parking Lot 80, they’d be close to both forever. Those who retired to the Village at Penn State would be just down the road. Buy a residence and get a plot at a reduced fee.
Because the demand will be high and space at a premium, only plots big enough to hold ashes would be available. Couples would have to be buried vertically, not side by side.
You wouldn’t have to wait to die to buy a plot. Penn State has many ways to accept your gifts. Just type giveto.psu.edu into your web browser and you’ll see.
After all, we are.
R Thomas Berner