SPSCC Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary

50th Anniversary attendees go through the last time capsule before preparing to create their own memory trove. Photo by Sarah Sage

The time capsule was originally buried in 1967 and was dug up during the college’s 25th Anniversary in 1987. It was buried again after the 25th anniversary somewhere between buildings 23 and 25.

Construction workers found the time capsule while working on the new library, just in time for the college’s 50th anniversary. The time capsule had been built by SPSCC’s welding crew and proved difficult to open. Three teachers from the school’s auto department loosened the lid prior to opening it for the convocation.

Faculty and staff gathered inside the SUB commons to witness the historical event. College President Gerald Pumphrey had the honor of opening the time capsule and presenting its contents. Inside they found a bottle of wine, a set of 1987 coins, a list of the 1987 student government, and the 1987-1988 class catalogue. The documents highlighted how much the times have changed. When the time capsule was buried, the tuition cost for 10-15 credits was only $250.

The time capsule also contained a signed staff listing, the college’s class schedule, photos of the college center, and the college’s “master plan.” Faculty and staff were invited to put their business cards into the time capsule, which will be opened again in another 25 years.

“The photos and school information was nice to see. I am glad the wine bottle did not break from the rough handling on the construction site, but it was a fun surprise to include in the time capsule. The new time capsule should have more things of humor in it, such as a sprung mouse trap with a paper note under the trap stating that you should look carefully before reaching deep inside the next time capsule,” said Professor Dave Knoblach.

Professor Dale Croes has been involved with the State Centennial Time Capsule since 1989. According to Croes, one of the main problems with time capsules is that they are forgotten after they are buried and preservation can also be challenging.

“I was totally amazed that when Automotive opened the cylinder that the contents were in excellent shape—I really expected a pile of dust to come out of that cylinder. Evidently the moisture packets and liquid seal automotive put on the capsule 25 years ago did the trick. Even the photographs were great! That truly was impressive.”

Following the time capsule opening, faculty and staff were invited to participate in a field day. Activities included games such as dunk your co-worker and Simon says. There was also a relay race which was comprised of three events: an egg balancing race, a three-legged race, and a ‘minute-to-win-it’ challenge.