LOCKED AWAY Documents, artifacts planned for next generation

By Evan Banner

Online Editor

The marketing and communications department at Amarillo College intends to bury a time capsule in the center of the roundabout being constructed at the Washington Street Campus on 24th street, that will encapsulate a recent period of achievement.

The time capsule will include documents and artifacts representative of the challenges and successes of recent AC history including the COVID-19 pandemic, the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence and the search for a new college president after the departure of Russell Lowery-Hart.

“The whole nation was stricken by the pandemic, certainly higher education and all of education,” Joe Wyatt communications coordinator for AC, said. “While we were sitting at home, we as a college really excelled at that time.”

It was during this span of time that the communications and marketing department considered a time capsule.

“Winning a national award, coming through a pandemic, which is unprecedented, and then picking a new president probably in the next year was just a really good time to pull this all together and take a snapshot,” Kevin Ball, vice president of communications and marketing, said.

Another area of interest regarding the time capsule are the physical changes of AC’sWashington Street Campus with the complete renovation of the FirstBank Southwest Center and Russell Hall and the modernization of other campus infrastructure. Alongside the physical infrastructure, officials have an interest in everyday items that seem integral to the college today, but may be foreign to students and staff in 50 years.

“There’s a ton of renovation going on, so the concept of seeing befores and afters 50 years from now will be really interesting, because the things we’re really excited about may be redone or become the ‘That’s a historic building,’ type of thing,” Garret Eggleston, special projects coordinator, said. “If we throw in an SD card, they might look at it like a floppy disk.” Magazines, brochures, newspapers and sports equipment will also likely be included.

The time capsule itself is a composite cylinder that stands 31 inches tall and 16 inches in diameter. It was purchased from the company Heritage Time Capsules, which the Kardashian family also bought from for the series finale of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”

Ball and Wyatt said the exact date the time capsule will be buried is to be determined, but the contractors are aware. “They know this is what our plan is and they’re in the act of figuring out ways to encapsulate it underground,” Wyatt said. “We don’t know when we’re going to do this but we know that they’re working on it. They said when they started that project it would take a hundred or so days of work and we may have sixty to go.”

The communications and marketing department said that while the future is uncertain, the ultimate goal is that AC remains a leader in its academics and within the community.

“I’m hoping that in 50 years we have continued to evolve and to have been ahead of the pack in the reasoning behind the innovation to see what’s coming and what’s really important,” Eggleston said. “We were recognized as the best college in the nation and that was not because we had better enrollment than anybody, it’s because we were serving those students better than anyone.” In the meantime, Ball said if anyone has ideas for what can be included with the time capsule, the communications and marketing department would like to know and are open to ideas and suggestions. To do this, students can contact Garret Eggleston either by email at geggleston@actx.edu or by phone at 806-371-5070.

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