Harvey Clark Hall

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In 1966, the students and faculty of Pacific University stashed away a time capsule filled with mementos and special items at the dedication ceremony of the then newly built Harvey Clark Hall. Now, after 50 years and as a part of this year’s Homecoming celebrations, the school will crack open the capsule and see what treasures are hidden away inside.

The event will take place on Friday, Oct. 14 at 3:30 p.m. and all are welcome to attend. At the event, both President Lesley Hallick and an alumna who lived in Clark Hall when it was first built, will address the audience.

“All of the buildings on campus that were built around the 60s era feature time capsules,” Martha Calus-McLain, the senior director of alumni and community engagement said. “There wasn’t necessarily any instructions on when these time capsules should be removed, so we have started a tradition of taking them out on the 50th anniversary of the buildings they are in.”

In recent years, the school has removed and unveiled the items of time capsules from Walter Hall, Washburne Hall and Jefferson Hall.

According to Calus-McLain, the items found in each of these time capsules were relatively tame, often including several copies of The Pacific Index from that particular year as well as administrative paperwork and documents.

However, the Jefferson Hall time capsule raised the bar for others as it included inside its metal walls, medicine from the 1950s, eyeglasses and other optometry tools.

According to Calus-McLain, a multitude of time capsules are located all around Pacific’s campus, and not only inside of buildings. Several graduating classes from long ago buried time capsules as a part of their final farewell to Pacific with intentions of opening them 25 years later.

In recent years, the school has readopted this tradition of burying time capsules for the graduating classes and now invites all current students who want to contribute an item or memento to their class’s time capsule to do so.

“Anyone can bring anything at any time to the Abbot Alumni Center and contribute it to their class’s time capsule,” Calus-McLain said.

After the ceremony for the Clark Hall time capsule, the audience will be allowed to carefully look upon and handle the items that are found inside the capsule. After the event has concluded, the items found within the Clark Hall time capsule will be given to the school’s archive room located in the library.

“I think that Pacific has a really rich and long history and I think every member of our community should be really proud of that history,” Calus-McLain said.

“When we open a time capsule, it’s a chance to sort of revel in our history as a leader in education. When we celebrate a time capsule that was put into place 50 years ago, it’s a fun moment in our history.”


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