Waynesburg University students plan cemetery preservation project

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Students in Waynesburg University's Honors and History programs are preparing to begin a cemetery conservation project in conjunction with Hill’s Schoolhouse Cemetery.

Led by senior history major David O’Donoghue, the project is the result of collaboration between students in the Honors Program, the History Club and a Public History course taught by Dr. Karen Fisher Younger, chair of the Department of Humanities.

Throughout the semester, history students will research the history of the cemetery site and delve into the genealogy and lives of families buried there.

Then, the Honors Program will host a cemetery preservation workshop March 18, the University’s Day of Service. The hands-on workshop will teach students about upkeep of grounds and preserving and documenting tombstones at the cemetery.

Younger said the project is just one example of the University working to tie students’ learning into contributions to the local community.

“History is alive all around us. I hope students will come away with a feeling of great satisfaction knowing that they served the surrounding community by caring for the final resting place of over two dozen men, women and children,” said Younger.

Members of the community with information about individuals or families buried at the site and/or old photographs of the cemetery that could aid students in their research are encouraged to contact O’Donoghue at odo1639@student.waynesburg.edu.

The University owns and maintains the cemetery; it was acquired in the same purchase as the land that now holds the baseball fields and tennis courts.

Founded in 1849 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Waynesburg University is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with three additional sites located in the Pittsburgh region. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and is one of only 21 Bonner Scholar schools in the country, offering local, regional and international opportunities to touch the lives of others through service.

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Ashley Wise, Associate Director of University Relations

724-852-7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu