The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Taking school spirit to the grave

SMU stands to profit as alums buy coffins with logo on velvet interior
 Taking school spirit to the grave
Taking school spirit to the grave

Taking school spirit to the grave

The decision on where to attend college is one that will impact the rest of a person’s life. Now one company has created a way for students to pay tribute to their college alma mater even after death.

College-themed coffins are the latest way to show school spirit. Collegiate Memorials is the first company in America to license memorial products bearing the college’s insignia and, often times, the official colors.

Scott Walston, president of Collegiate Memorials, said that he sells more coffins to people intending to give them to an alumnus as a gift than to the alumni themselves.

The company sold its first collegiate coffin in May 2001. These coffins range in price from $1,590 to $2,390 and come in various woods and metals.

The SMU coffin appears like a regular coffin from the outside. The outside is a black urn shell design. Inside the casket, “SMU Mustangs” with the Mustang logo appears sewn into the white velvet interior.

Since the coffins are fully licensed, the company must pay the universities a royalty of 7.5 percent to produce the coffin, Walston said. This averages to about $120 to $180 per coffin sold.

“People will do anything to raise money,” said Buster Brown, a 1965 graduate of SMU.

Brown says he’s not convinced an SMU coffin will be his choice for burial.

“I’m not that gung-ho,” Brown said. “How about just an SMU wreath at the funeral?”

Brown said he’s sure there are people who would like to be buried in the university coffin.

“My dad bleeds red and blue, but being buried in red and blue is another story,” said Rebecca Brown, his daughter and a sophomore business major at SMU.

The company strives to make its coffin designs as traditional and tasteful as possible, Walston said. SMU’s coffin is rather plain compared to other schools. The University of Tennessee, for example, features a bright orange-colored casket with the “T” sewn in the inside.

“I love SMU, but that’s just tacky,” said sophomore psychology major Katie Bibb. “Not to mention, it’s kind of morbid and gross to think about.”

Walston disagrees and says his customers do as well. He says it goes further than sports or gender.

“It’s about people taking pride in their education and recognizing it helped them achieve in life,” Walston said.

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