Grads can return for a posthumous homecoming
The dedication of The Citadel columbarium will take place at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 1, in the Summerall Chapel. The program will last 30 minutes and will be followed by a carillon concert and an opportunity for guests to visit the columbarium, which is located on the first floor of the bell tower.
After the dedication ceremony, the columbarium will officially be open to receive ashes. There are 403 niches. And each niche will hold two urns, one for an alum and one for a spouse or family member.
The Thomas Dry Howie Memorial Carillon and Tower were donated to The Citadel by two alumni, Charles E. Daniel, class of 1918, and R. Hugh Daniel, class of 1929, in tribute to their friend, Major Thomas Dry Howie, who was killed in action during World II. The tower houses one of the largest Dutch bell installations in the Western Hemisphere. The bells were cast at the famous Royal Bergen Bellfoundries in Heiligerlee in the Netherlands.
In 2004, the bells, which had fallen into disrepair after Hurricane Hugo, were renovated with funds raised by the class of 1957. Harry Van Bergen, class of 1957, who first came to The Citadel with his father to install the bells (or the carillon), spearheaded the effort to restore the carillon and build the columbarium.
Niches are available for sale to Citadel alumni for a cost of $8,000. Members of the class of 1957 will receive a special rate of $5,000. Ten niches have already been sold, including one to the wife of a 1967 graduate who will have her husband’s ashes transferred from Florida to The Citadel.
Funds raised from the sale of the niches will be used to pay for the upkeep and maintenance of the bell tower and the chapel as well as to support scholarships for cadets who play the carillon.