When Professor Emeritus of Psychology Dr. Steve and Kathy Kramer first arrived at Mount Union in 1974, they anticipated staying for a few short years. Little did they know that 46 years later, they still would be living in their first and only house in Alliance, having developed a deep and meaningful connection to the campus community they now call “home.” This summer, after careful planning and consideration, the Kramers decided to solidify Mount Union as their forever home by reserving niches in the new columbarium within Victoria’s Garden.
Perhaps most well-known by students and alumni alike for the Wilderness and Social Responsibility Trips, Steve created these two experiences 44 and 30 respective years ago.
“In all my years as a faculty member,” he explained, “those trips are some of our greatest memories and where I felt I’ve been able to make the greatest impact.”
The Kramers are also grateful for a supportive community where they could raise their children.
“I taught over the years, but being a mother was my primary responsibility,” Kathy shared. “Mount Union has given us all a good life, and we always want to support what the institution does.”
When Steve and Kathy first heard about the columbarium, they were intrigued, especially by the environmental benefits. Originally hailing from Kansas and New Jersey with family scattered across eight different states, they never had a family plot. They also wanted to relieve their children of the decision-making concerning their future, and the columbarium helped solidify those plans.
“We feel like we belong here,” they said.
“We’ve devoted most of our lives to Mount Union,” Steve expressed. “Whatever meaning our lives have, much of it occurred here, so it’s natural for us to reside here permanently. Mount Union has and will forever be our home, and knowing that makes our connection to this community even deeper.”
Niches are now available to alumni and friends. To learn more about Victoria’s Garden, contact Stephen Dages, interim university chaplain, or the Office of Advancement.