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2000 Time Capsule

African American Alumni Reunite

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Wildcat Highlight
Ruth Gardner Begell
Sheryl Luzzadder Beach
Richard Slavich



"Today, because of more and more computerized bill paying, money may be a thing of the past by the year 2000."
—Note attached to a $1 bill by Lew Wentz, for the CIRCA 2000 time capsule


While many things have changed since 1973, money, Coca Cola bottle caps, Time magazine, and Band-Aids have essentially stayed the same. These items, along with birth control pills, a "how to" book on growing marijuana, copies of Oui and Ms., an 11 air mail stamp, a printout from a COBOL program, and an astrological chart, complete with taped commentary, were all included in the CIRCA 2000 time capsule that was opened during Homecoming week last October.

The CIRCA 2000 project was the idea of Robert M. Jackson, dean of the School of Graduate, International, and Sponsored Programs. In 1973, Jackson was the director of the Simulated Political Process Laboratory and vice chair of the Department of Political Science. The university-wide CIRCA 2000 committee, which he conceived and chaired, was responsible for organizing the largest academic/cultural program in the history of the university. Included in the program were nationally known speakers such as Barry Commoner, often referred to as the "Paul Revere of ecology"; Alvin Toffler, author of Future Shock; and Arthur C. Clark, author of 2001: A Space Odyssey. A technology fair, guest artists, and experimental courses and workshops were also offered—as well as a class that took on the responsibility for the construction and contents of a time capsule to be opened in the year 2000.

The class decreed in their typewritten instructions that the time capsule be opened on October 10, 2000—exactly 27 years after it was buried. A letter was sent to class members late last year asking if the capsule could be opened on the 14th, the Saturday of Homecoming, and they agreed.

About 150 people attended the opening of the time capsule, including students from 1973 and from 2000. One CIRCA 2000 student said: "I enjoyed going back in time, recalling life in the '70s. I felt as though I was in a time warp." Cori Coffman, a fifth-grade student in 1973, returned to Chico with her daughter, Kili, from her home in New Mexico to see the opening of the time capsule. Coffman was a student at Citrus Elementary School at the time and participated in writing letters about what life would be like in the year 2000. "It felt inspirational to be there and to know that the capsule really did exist—it was a thrill for me to see everyone who participated!" said Coffman.

Time capsule contents will be housed in the Special Collections department of the Meriam Library, and plans are underway to display the time capsule pyramid in the Sapp Hall garden.


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