Chico State Buries Time Capsule

Apr 12, 2013 7:46 PM

A group from Chico State took time out of their day to look to the future as they buried a time capsule meant to be opened 125 years from now.

"It is a snapshot in time, because history tends to blend together," Chico State’s VP of University Advancement Rick Ellison said.

About two dozen members of the Chico State community gathered in the Mary Lemcke Camelia Garden to bury a time capsule they hope will remain sealed for the next 125 years.

Included in the time capsule were t-shirt and pins commemorating the university's 125th anniversary as well as about 200 handwritten letters from students and alumni documenting their vision for the school's future.

"I’ve seen a glimpse of some of those and they are touching as they talk about making sure the campus is as beautiful as it is today," Ellison said.

In addition to documenting the university's history, the time capsule also holds memories of Mary Lemcke who was a founding member of Chico State's advisory committee as well as the first female member of the board of trustees.

"What we included in the capsule was a history of her life and what she contributed to Chico State as well as a genealogy of her family," Lemcke’s grandson Ross Lemcke said.

Students began burying time capsules in the 1930's and continued through the late 60s.
Around 2000, the alumni association began opening one of the capsules each year at the golden grad anniversary events.

"There is a yearbook called the Record. The Wildcat, the school newspaper, and a listing of graduates who went through the Baccalaureate ceremony," Ellison said.

About that same time, the associated students restarted the tradition of burying capsules for future generations to discover.
While most will be opened in about 50 years, Thursday’s capsule is not scheduled to be opened for more than a century.

"I hope in 125 years they look and say now it was a special place and we maintained that," Ellison said.

Items from some of the recently opened time capsules are currently on display in the Merriam Library's special collections room.


Most Popular