STERLING, VA (September 27, 2023) – The International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA) concluded another successful session of the ICCFA University, a five-day educational experience that was held July 21-26, 2023, in Atlanta, Georgia. A total of 189 students, including 85 freshmen, traveled to Emory University to further their deathcare education and make connections with fellow professionals from ten different countries.

The 2023 schedule consisted of eight colleges overseen by their respective Dean, an expert in the area of deathcare that the college focuses on. This year’s event was marked by a few changes as Mat Forastiere continued the legacy left behind by the late Todd Van Beck as the Dean of the College of Funeral Home Management, and a Graduate Program was added to the curriculum for senior executives and those transitioning into those roles to enhance their leadership skills and business acumen. Forastiere welcomed 27 students while the Graduate Program saw 11 participants during its inaugural year.

Seventeen students proudly concluded their educational journey as ICCFA University Graduates. The class Valedictorian, Ann Marie St. George, summarized their journey, remarking, “Altogether, this year’s senior class has over 300 years of combined experience in deathcare, and individually that experience ranges from seven to forty years. All of you should be proud of taking the time to invest in yourselves, the companies you work with and the families you serve. Thank you for being here.”

Encouraging her peers, St. George added, “There really isn’t anything like this in our profession and every year this University just gets better, that is why it is important to keep going.”

ICCFA University Chancellor Jeff Kidwiler expressed his gratitude, stating, “The enthusiasm surrounding ICCFA University 2023 reaffirms our commitment to elevating knowledge, forging connections, and advancing the deathcare profession. We eagerly anticipate an even more remarkable gathering at ICCFA University 2024.”

Mark your calendars for ICCFA University 2024, set for July 19-24, 2024, at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Stay updated with more information at

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Founded in 1887, the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association is the only international trade association representing all segments of the cemetery, cremation, funeral, and memorialization profession. The association is comprised of more than 10,000 members in the cemetery, funeral home, and crematory industries, as well as supplier and related businesses worldwide.