UA Journey

UAF Alumni Time Capsule 1964-2014

An old yellow note taped on to the outside of the welded copper box says, "Open in the year 2000."

The sealed box is about 14 inches by 24 inches, with a depth of eight inches.

The time capsule was buried in 1964 by that year's graduating class. It was buried in front of the newly constructed Patty Gymnasium, named for the third president of the university, who retired in 1960. The capsule was removed from the site in 1969 when the Patty Gym's front steps were replaced. Facilities Services held on to it since 1969 and returned it to the Alumni Association in the year 2000.

The alumni who originally buried the time capsule had hoped it would be opened in the year 2000. The Alumni note clearly described the year 2000 plan:

    THIS BOX IS TO BE OPENED IN THE YEAR 2000

The alumni office developed a plan for the event, advertising:

    "We're gearing up for the reunion Grass Roots 2000 which will occur July 19th-21st. On the evening of the 19th there will be a Welcome Back reception in the IARC foyer hosted by Chancellor Lind. The excitement at that event will be the opening of a time capsule that was originally buried in 1964 in the Patty Center stairs."

This plan was cancelled because it was decided that the year 2000 was not a strategic enough of a date for the time capsule to be opened.

In 2005, under the directorship of Joe Hayes, the association again decided that the time capsule would be opened—marking its 50th year—in 2014.

A close up of the note taped to the time capsule is seen on the right. The note reads:

    THIS BOX WAS DUG UP FROM THE PATTY GYM WHEN THE STEPS WERE REPLACED IN ABOUT 1969.

    IN 1964, THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION BURIED THIS BOX AND IN IT IS -----

The word (or words) describing the contents have been marked out in black, leaving it a mystery until such time as the welding is pried apart to give us a look at what's truly contained therein.


Notes: UAF Staff Council #118, June 2, 2000