Encapsulating Columbia

By SpencerRoush

When I graduated from Cardington-Lincoln High School in my small Ohio town, my friends and I walked across the stage for our diplomas, tossed our caps in the air and received congratulatory hugs and praises. One thing we weren’t expecting was having our former eighth grade teacher hand out sealed letters we had written to ourselves four years earlier. It was our own miniature time capsule.

When I saw her pass out the envelopes, I remembered how I thought the assignment was dumb and childish when the project was presented; therefore, I didn’t receive a letter from my 13-year-old self.

Sure, my letter probably would’ve contained some melodramatic ramblings about being in a boring class where I couldn’t chat with peers about that day’s drama, and I’m positive it would’ve also contained a profession of my love for Nick Carter (even though the Backstreet Boys were anything but trendy at the time).

Because I was apparently going through a rebellious stage in my life, I missed out on a chance to reminisce about the joy of adolescence. I didn’t think my awkward middle school years were worth documenting.

I was wrong. Capturing any moment in time has its value, some more than others.

After coming to this realization on graduation day more than three years ago, I may have a chance to redeem myself and be a part of another time capsule project, along with my fellow Columbia students.

With the construction of the Media Production Center, administrators wanted to include a space in the wall for a Columbia time capsule to be in opened in 2040—30 years after the building’s inception, which is also Columbia’s 150th anniversary.

Columbia purchased a registered time capsule storage unit to show enrolled 2040 students what the now middle-aged alumni were up to in college when Apple products were coveted, and fully functioning computers were shrunk to the size of iPads.

The college inserted the time capsule in the MPC enclave and sealed the interior wall on Sept. 24 after months of determining the appropriate materials to include from student, alumni, faculty and

staff submissions.

Columbia created an opportune chance for those involved with the college to be a part of something years after graduation or retirement. Decades from now the reveal won’t only be exciting for the new wave of students, faculty and staff, but also for those of us who experienced Columbia

in 2010.

To make this experience more enjoyable for contributors or the generation of this project, the revealed capsule contents should be available online or by any other networking means available 30 years

from now.

If everyone can be a part of this celebration of sealing the time capsule and the great reveal decades from now, no one will be left without a self-written letter like I was at graduation. These documents and objects are our “letters” containing sentimental value to this generation and observations of Columbia’s diverse and unusual community we’ve all helped create.