The Columbarium

The inspiration for The Columbarium came many years ago as faithful Old Boys spoke of their devotion and affinity for the Academy. Dedicated on September 29, 2001, The Columbarium was built to give alumni, family of alumni, faculty and staff, and friends a place to be memorialized.

The Columbarium features cremation and memorial niches, a scattering ground area, and a Wall of Honor to pay eternal tribute to SJN alumni who lost their lives while serving our country. The Columbarium is located adjacent to the Noble Victory Memorial Chapel of St. John the Divine, which is the center of worship and moral education that is instrumental in shaping the lives of the cadets.

The Memorial Wall at The Columbarium

Honor the memory of an old roommate, favorite teacher, coach or loved one. Bronze plaques are available in 4′ x 8′ and 8′ x 8′ to be forever placed on The Memorial Wall at The Columbarium.

War Memorial in the Columbarium

Committal Services

The Columbarium and Scattering Ground committal services are available to you and your family. Our staff is sensitive to your personal needs and can assist you in pre-planning your service or at time of need.

Our selection of compiimentary services when purchasing a niche or the scattering grounds includes:

  • Custom bronze faceplate or plaque
  • Religious ceremony performed by either our Episcopalian priest or Chaplain
  • Music by the bagpipe corps
  • Keepsake program

If the deceased was a member of the military, we graciously offer the cadet color guard, and American flag presentation, 21-gun salute, and Taps.

We are unable to offer some of these ceremonial tributes during June, July, and August when cadets are on summer break. We do, however, offer the temporary storage of cremains in the Noble Victory Memorial Chapel for individuals and families who have purchased a niche or the scattering ground.

For more information, contact alumni@sjnma.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

A columbarium is a place for final committal of cremated remains (cremains) on dignified and consecrated ground. Dating back to ancient times, the word “columbarium” comes from the translated Latin word meaning “dovecote.” The word originated from how doves would nest in small niches in the mountains. The more common use of this word now refers to burial niches, most often above ground or contained within an architectural structure.\

Yes. The Columbarium is sanctioned and approved as a cemetery according to Wisconsin law and thereby protected by the rules and regulations that govern them. A percentage of each niche purchase is set aside for the perpetual care of The Columbarium.

There are many situations where individuals may want to choose a niche at the Columbarium. We live in a transient society where the average individual moves 11 times over their lifetime. The Columbarium is able to offer individuals a final resting place that pays tribute to the patriotic, character and spiritual values that are part of the Academy’s legacy. Each year our Memorial Day services include the reading of the names of our alumni who have lost their lives in service to our country. During Commencement & Reunion Weekend, our graduating seniors pay homage to those alumni who passed away over the past year by giving a red rose in their honor at the Founders’ Memorial Service at St. John’s Chrysostom Church.

For individuals who have committed to The Columbarium, they have done so because of the deep impact this institution has had on their lives. As they still consider St. John’s Northwestern their home, many could not imagine being laid to rest anywhere else.

Yes. Several of our alumni have done so and placed special Academy mementos (i.e., class ring, senior photo, ribbons, medals) in their niche.

The cost of a niche ranges from $2,300-$5,500 depending on the Wall and location that is chosen. The cost to use the scattering grounds is $1,500. 60% of your niche or scattering ground purchase is tax-deductible.

There are no additional fees. Your purchase of a niche includes a custom bronze niche faceplate or plaque. Your purchase to use the scattering grounds includes an inscribed bronze plate, which is affixed to the stone tablet in the designated scattering grounds area. The Columbarium and scattering ground purchases also include a committal service, music, program, and our Episcopal priest or chaplain as officiates. Military honors are given to those with military service.

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