Well-Documented Centennial Time Capsule Burial Helps Celebrate 100 Years at Kent State

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Kent State University President Lester A. Lefton at the controls of the track hoe.
It is unlikely that, 50 years from now, anyone won’t remember where the University Centennial Time Capsule was buried. That’s because more than 60 people joined in a ceremony Aug. 10 to see the capsule buried on Risman Plaza near the Kiva. Using a track hoe, Kent State University President Lester A. Lefton lowered the stainless steel box, which will be unsealed in 2060, six feet into a concrete vault in the ground.

Unlike the legend of the 1960 time capsule, which some say is buried somewhere in an unmarked location on campus, the University Centennial Time Capsule is being carefully documented and clearly marked, as evidenced by the slew of media and camera-toting attendees at the burial ceremony.

The site will be formally dedicated during Homecoming festivities on Oct. 9.

The burial ceremony was part of Kent State’s Centennial celebration and included remarks from Lefton, Ohio State Representative Kathleen Chandler, M.P.A. ’90, Pamela Jones, academic program and student development coordinator and a member of Kent State’s Centennial Committee, and Evan Vereb, ’10, a University Centennial Time Capsule Subcommittee member.

Referring to the university’s excellence agenda, Lefton noted that burying the time capsule was an act of “excellence in action” by which the future generations of the university and Kent community will know of life in Kent in 2010.

“This symbolizes the excellence of who we are. Today, we are honoring the past and looking forward to the future,” Lefton says. “We are celebrating 100 years of excellence.”

Some of the more than 100 items included in the treasure trove are a parking ticket, ramen noodles, mementos from WKSU-FM, black squirrel and sports memorabilia, as well as a cell phone and a laptop to play the donated discs.

“The time capsule is filled with no space left to spare just as I wanted to achieve,” says Jones, who led the University Centennial Time Capsule Subcommittee, with valuable assistance of three students.

Those students were Vereb, Kristine Gill, ’10, and Zachary Mikrut, ’10. Vereb briefly spoke about the students’ efforts and looking ahead 50 years from now.

“It wasn’t work, it was more of an adventure,” says Vereb, who along with his classmates never discovered the location of the 1960 time capsule. “50 years from now I’ll be 72 and I plan to be back here to dig this up, and I hope you’ll be with me.”

Vereb says he was thrilled to be a part of the university’s Centennial time capsule burial.

“During that time, there was no one there to document the burial of the 1960 time capsule, but it’s great to know we can be a part of that today,” he says.

Ecstatic about the turnout, Jones says she was pleased with the event and Lefton’s participation in burying the time capsule.

“Seeing President Lefton’s enthusiasm to be the one to lower the time capsule was great,” Jones says. “It was clear those who attended had endearing feelings about the time capsule and it is something everyone will remember.”

By Erin C. Perkins

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