NORTHEAST – On Saturday, October 23, 2010, the Indiana Chapter of The Association for Gravestone Studies (AGS) will conduct its inaugural meeting at Ivy Tech Community College–Northeast. The meeting will begin at Ivy Tech’s Student Life Center on the North Campus (4900 St. Joe Road) in the Conference Center at 9 a.m. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.
AGS is an international organization that was formed in 1977 and is committed to promoting further research and preservation of grave markers and places of burial. The AGS hosts an annual conference each June, and its location changes each year. The Indiana Chapter has five scheduled speakers followed by lunch and a trip to Lindenwood Cemetery in Fort Wayne. Presenter John Bry was recently featured in local media for creating the Tombstone Trail Project in Indiana. Other guests include representatives from Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology, Indiana University, Traditional Arts Indiana, and Historic Gravestone Services, LLC. The trip to the cemetery is scheduled from 1 to 5 p.m.
Joy M. Giguere, Ph.D., chair of the Indiana AGS Chapter, and history faculty member at Ivy Tech, said the AGS has been working on establishing state-level chapters to increase membership and awareness. Giguere has been with the college since August 2009 and has been an active member of AGS since 2005.
“This is the kind of subject where there seems to be a lot of latent public interest,” said Giguere. “Everyone has a cemetery story, whether they used to go there to see deceased family members, for genealogical purposes, or for a number of other reasons. A lot of people don’t necessarily think of it, but if you ask, they have something to share.”
Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public post-secondary institution and the nation’s largest singly-accredited statewide community college system with more than 200,000 students enrolled annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.