the westminster review logo

Campus Lore: Mary Tuck

Mary Tuck memorial bench

Burial Grounds
Love of Westminster Honored

by Autumn Thatcher (MSC ’15)

Did you know there are people buried on campus? It sounds like a creepy urban legend, but the fact of the matter is there are two people buried on campus at Westminster College. If you are reading this story, chances are you may have sat on the bench that bears the engraving “In Memory of Mary Tuck.” Underneath that bench are the ashes of Mary Tuck and her husband, Ralph. In the early 90s, a cute little woman walked into Vice President of Institutional Advancement Steve Morgan’s office with a box in her hands. “This is my husband, Ralph,” she said, pointing to the box.

Ralph Tuck had a deep fondness and appreciation for the college’s campus. His dying wish was to be buried on campus, and his wife Mary saw to it that his wish was granted.

You have to have a license to bury people outside of a cemetery. So, as the college worked to acquire the proper licenses, Mary worked with Steve to create a $250,000 endowed scholarship in honor of her husband.

Ralph Tuck’s ashes rested in the box in Steve’s office for nearly five years—until the college had received all the permissions it needed to bury him.

Ralph was buried under a bench near the trees of Converse, which is what he wanted. When Mary died, she wanted to be buried next to him. She too was cremated, and their ashes rest together under the bench.

The Ralph and Mary Tuck Scholarship is still awarded to students today.



About the Westminster Review

The Westminster Review is Westminster University’s bi-annual alumni magazine that is distributed to alumni and community members. Each issue aims to keep alumni updated on campus current events and highlights the accomplishments of current students, professors, and Westminster alum.