Gators for Eternity
UF wants to build a columbarium, a structure that would hold the ashes of alumni. In order to do this the university would have to be listed as a cemetary, and set aside a space that's at least 30 acres in size. The problem is there's no room for a space that big. Now Florida lawmakers are looking at a bill that would allow Florida college columbariums to be built on five acres or less.
John Cantlon is showing off Florida Field to his godchild Bethany and her boyfriend. Cantlon says his wife Lauralee, who is a UF alum, hopes that when she passes away he would be able to visit her at the field.
"She would love to have her ashes here on campus," said Cantlon. "She threatened one time to make sure that I would go ahead and scatter ashes at Florida Field."
She's not alone. University officials say they typically get one formal request a month to have ashes scattered at The Swamp. But there may be a new option for UF alumni in the form of a columbarium; a structure with spaces to hold ashes.
"This offers, you know, people another option if they'd like to do that, to have their final resting place on campus," said University of Florida spokesperson Steve Orlando. "We have had interest in it from alums."
The proposed location for the site would be just off of Museum Road at University Gardens. Other schools like the University of Virginia have their own columbariums. The House and Senate bills seeking to allow Florida's state schools to have their own structure passed committee today.
For Cantlon a columbarium makes his role in his wife's last wishes a little easier.
"Rather than me sneaking in the middle of the night and leaving them on Florida field, a columbarium would be a very good idea," said Cantlon. "You could always be at the University of Florida. You're always here."
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