Friday, May 18, 2007

Deep Affinity Pittsburgh

The New York Times is reporting on a new marketing opportunity for American colleges and universities, offering alumni a place on campus to intern their ashes. This story may, at first glance, seem to be a strange subject for a blog post about the Burgh Diaspora. But take a look at the reason why these post-secondary institutions think they have a product that will sell:

In an era when many people are highly mobile and do not settle in one place for long, a college can have a strong allure as a final resting place, [college officials] say. And officials point out that colleges have a special resonance for many people, who have forged life-long relationships as undergraduates.

Given the likelihood of multiple relocations over a lifetime, the deepest relationship with a place may be where you went to university. I figure that the strong attachment expatriates have with Pittsburgh is similar to that of the connection to one's college. I wonder if the Burgh identity trumps that of alumni. I suspect that it does, but I'm only speculating.

Regardless, colleges and universities are taking advantage of the trend towards greater mobility. What is Pittsburgh's plan?

1 comment:

Jim Morris said...

I never considered having my ashes buried at Carnegie Mellon, but once explored having an eternal web page on which I could record all the things about my life I'd like remembered. Once I'd secured that, I would have the url chiseled on my gravestone.

Relationship-based universities should be able to get their students to start web pages which the continue as alumni and eventually evolve to this.

I wonder whether Facebook would offer eternal websites.