UAF unearths time capsule

By Dianna Rupp

Sun Star Reporter

On Sept. 26, Chancellor Brian Rogers and University of Alaska Fairbanks Alumni Association Board Officer Rhonda Widener stood in front of an audience of faculty, students and alumni, and began the process of opening a time capsule buried 50 years before, by the class of 1964.

Nook opens the time capsule from UAF class of 1964. UAF Photo by Todd Paris

Nook opens the time capsule from UAF class of 1964. UAF Photo by Todd Paris

The time capsule’s journey was not easy. Exhumed in 1969 during construction of the Patty Center stairs, it was passed off to facilities services.

Facilities services then handed the time capsule over to the UAFAA. They stored the time capsule in the alumni lounge where it remained until the opening ceremony.

Originally slated to be opened in 2000, UAFAA chose to wait until 2014, the 50th anniversary of the capsule’s burial.

Rogers gave a short welcome speech that provided a brief history of the time capsule. He also hinted the university’s centennial celebration, slated for the summer of 2017.

Rogers and Widener lifted the lid of the capsule and began removing items and displaying them for the crowd.

Items removed included copies of “The Polar Star” and “The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner,” parking decals from 1922, info packets on the forthcoming creation of the Patty Center Gym, Alaska state coins, a KUAC daily program log, and a recording of the Alaska flag song.

Approximately 30 items were removed from the capsule.

Jay Holmes, a 1964 alumnus, was in attendance.

Holmes married his wife during his junior year at UAF. He fondly recalls living in Walsh Hall. It was nice an inexpensive back then, he said.

“I can still remember the 1,500 miles of dirt that was the Alaska Highway,” Holmes said. “It’s been a long time.”

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