100th Anniversary Time Capsule Anniversary Box Chancellor William Moran Robert E. (Trey) Sharp

The 100th Anniversary Time Capsule

This is part three of a three-part blog regarding campus time capsules. A time capsule contains commemorative material for access at a future date. There have been four known time capsules in the history of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG).

The 100th Anniversary Time Capsule

Almost immediately after the fiftieth year “Anniversary Box” was opened in October of 1991, plans were already underway to create another time capsule for the centennial celebrations of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). This time capsule would contain artifacts and memorabilia from 1992 and would be opened in October of 2042 during the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the college. Instead of choosing a plain metal box like the previous time capsule, it was decided that next receptacle would be the winner of a campus-wide design competition. All UNCG students were eligible to enter and were required to manufacture the item, which would not only be functional, but also a work of art. The competition rules required the time capsule to be either two or three dimensional, created of permanent material, and able to be locked. The winner would be announced on October 4, 1991, the opening of the centennial ceremony, and would receive a $750 prize. 

On October 4, 1991, the winner of the competition was announced as Robert E. (Trey) Sharp III, a senior form Winston-Salem, North Carolina, majoring in sculpture and religious studies. Sharp created a spherical ceramic container on a branch-like bronze stand that could be sealed with a bead of wax.

The university also asked for student input as to what would be placed into the capsule to represent the year 1992. Ultimately, it included a message from Chancellor William Moran to UNCG students fifty years in the future, speeches and artifacts associated with the centennial, campus photographs, and university programs and publications. Additionally, it incorporated material that reflected national and international events and concerns such as a piece of the Berlin Wall, AIDS brochures, political memorabilia, and Wilderness magazine containing a list of 500 endangered species. It was decided that the time capsule would be kept in the library and it has remained there ever since it was sealed. It had resided near the access services desk in Jackson Library until recently when it was moved to the second floor of the original library building, outside the doors of the Martha Blakeney Hodges Reading Room – where the history of the university is kept.

Article by Kathelene McCarty Smith

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