Mark your calendars for 2066
For the 50th anniversary of MNU’s founding, Kevin Garber, Director of Alumni Relations, and his alumni council put together a time capsule to be opened in the year 2066 or 2067.
The council consists of a group of alumni volunteers who support MNU. Garber said they wanted to do something big that would be able to connect MNU with its past, present and future.
“It would commemorate the first 50 years of the university’s history, and it would then carry forward into 50 more years,” Garber said. “The next big milestone would of course be our centennial celebration, which will happen in 2066, and will mark the hundredth year of the founding of MidAmerica.”
The alumni council began by finding what was entailed in putting together a time capsule. They looked into shape, design, material, location etc.
“Some places put the time capsule in the cornerstone of a building and other places bury them,” Garber said. “We decided, ‘Let’s bury it,’ and we thought the best place on campus would be at [the harvest prayer statue]”
The alumni council, with Garber at the helm, sent out invitations to all of the departments on campus asking them to contribute items that could be placed in the capsule. The items ranged from books from the 25th year celebration, current newspapers depicting the political climate of today, modern technology and letters written by current students.
“We’ve never published a complete list of what’s inside, because when people ask me I say, ‘Come out in 2066 and you’ll see,’” Garber said.
Jonathan Melton, student body president, along with freshmen Faith Irvine, Celine Williams and Nathan Sukraw, each wrote a letter to the graduating class of 2067. Along with writing the letters, the students agreed to be at the centennial celebration for the opening of the time capsule.
“Kevin Garber approached me about a month [ago], just asking if I would write a letter to the class of 2067 to put into the time capsule, which was really difficult,” Melton said. “How do you write to someone 50 years from now? I ended up writing: ‘This is what I’ve experienced at MNU, and this is my hope and my prayer that you will get to experience in 50 years and then a little bit of advice for them.”
University President Dr. David Spittal also wrote a letter to the class of 2067 as if they were going to open it at the centennial celebration.
There is a book that will be left with the presidents succeeding Spittal. The book will let the president in 2066-2067 know that there is a time capsule to be unburied for the centennial celebration that year.
“Eventually the spot where [the capsule] is will be marked with a stone,” Garber said. “It’ll say ‘here is a time capsule celebrating the first 50 years to be unearthed in 2066.’”
The ceremony for the burial was held on Friday Oct. 20, 2017, in which Garber spoke, Spital read his letter and Dr. Jim Edlin prayed.
The ceremony was finished when Melton, Spittal and alumni council member Allen Brown, each took a turn to bury the capsule, throwing dirt on it with a golden shovel.
“In 50 years they want me, and a couple other students who wrote letters as well, to come back for the digging up of the time capsule,” Melton said.
Melton joked that he had just made the most distant plan of his life, and said that he hopes to be around to see it through.
Blake Holden- More by this author
Blake Holden ('18) is an Intercultural Studies major at MNU. Blake is the life editor for the Trailblazer, is from Monett, Missouri, and is planning on going into international Business upon graduation.