Monday, January 12, 2015

The Fiftieth Anniversary Time Capsule


This is part two of a three-part blog regarding campus time capsules. A time capsule contains commemorative material for access at a future date. There have been four known time capsules in the history of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG).


Fiftieth Anniversary Box

The first anniversary time capsule was created during the 1941/1942 school year in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the founding and the subsequent opening of the college on October 5, 1892. This was an important anniversary that was accompanied by a celebratory year of concerts, lectures, and special visitors. It culminated in the presentation of “We, The Women,” an original play written especially for the occasion. The “Anniversary Box” was a simple green metal container which included items such as messages from Mrs. Lula Martin McIver, wife of founder and first president Charles Duncan McIver; Dr. Walter Clinton Jackson, Dean of Administration and later Chancellor, as well as student essays. It also included college publications, artifacts, textiles, and anniversary programs. An especially interesting artifact was a Havilland demitasse cup and saucer, which had been purchased in 1892, the year that the school opened.


Havilland demitasse cup and saucer, 1892 

Although the year brought excitement and special events, everyone on campus was very aware that the country was in the midst of a world war, and materials related to the war were also included in the capsule. The final convocation was held on October 6, 1942, and it was at this event that the Anniversary Box was officially packed and locked. Dr. Jackson captured the spirit of the day by his inspiring words, “We here proclaim our devout hope that those who look back from 1992 will give thanks to us for our labor and will take from our hands our banner of ‘SERVICE’ and carry it to greater heights.” As directed, the Anniversary Box was opened fifty years later to commemorate the one hundredth year of the school’s opening. The contents were displayed in Jackson Library within an exhibit commemorating the capsule and life on campus during World War II.

An article written for The Carolinian in February of 1942 looked even further into the future when it advised, “We must have the strength and foresight to prepare another fifty years for the next generation, not reveling in the satisfaction of past glory but looking to a more glorious 100th anniversary.”

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