Time capsule burial wraps up LMU anniversary

Published 5:15 pm Thursday, February 16, 2023

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Lincoln Memorial University wrapped up a year-long celebration of the 125th anniversary of its founding with a ceremony to bury a time capsule. The commemorative time capsule was buried February 14, 2023, and is to be opened February 12, 2123. The ceremony and burial were held at the historic LMU Springhouse.

February 12, 2022, marked the 125th anniversary of LMU’s charter and founding on February 12, 1897. The University celebrated its quasquicentennial with a year full of special programming and events. The 125th Time Capsule Celebration included greetings from LMU President Clayton Hess, the reciting of the Gettysburg Address by Lincoln performer Dennis Boggs and the singing of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” by Executive Director of Administration Kristy Bay, a member of the 125th Committee. Members of the 125th Committee joined Hess in breaking ground on the time capsule hole before an LMU grounds crew placed the capsule in the ground.

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The University’s youngest students, members of the J. Frank White Academy’s Pre-K class, then shoveled dirt onto the capsule. The youngsters were included in the ceremony as it would be their descendants that would most likely open the time capsule in 100 years.

Each of the University’s colleges, along with several departments, submitted materials for inclusion in the time capsule that would help students, faculty, staff and the community 100 years from now have a picture of the current time. The colleges submitted information including certificates of accreditation for their programs, and some theorized about what the future might hold for the study of their fields.

Natalie Sweet, program coordinator for the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum (ALLM), curated the items and read a list of the contents during the ceremony. In addition to the information from the colleges, materials included photos from the president’s office, a ceremonial ribbon that was cut at the opening of the LMU-College of Dental Medicine, framed images of the Duncan School of Law class of 2022, a 2022 graduation program from the DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine, a jump drive of information from the Richard A. Gillespie College of Veterinary Medicine, an EdS medallion from the Carter and Moyers School of Education, a 3D printed bridge from the School of Engineering, an engraved cube and jump drive from the School of Math and Science, jump drives and a coffee mug from the Paul V. Hamilton School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, a coffee mug and department photo from the School of Business, animal and weight figures from the School of Allied Health Sciences, a stuffed LMU elephant from Student Services, a student tie from J. Frank White Academy, a signed list of names from the 2022-23 pre-K class of J. Frank White Academy, an LMU alumni directory and full list of donors for the $20 for the Top Hat fundraising drive from University Advancement, and a visitor guide, book, patch, medal and the book “Harrogate and Cumberland Gap” from the ALLM.

Several items specifically marking the 125th anniversary were also included in the time capsule, including the 125th edition of the “Alumnus” and “Blue and Gray” publications from University Advancement, a 125th 2022 calendar, roadside banner, facemasks and three prototypes of the 125th anniversary logo from Marketing and Public Relations, a 125th anniversary children’s book from the ALLM, a full list of events held in recognition of the anniversary, and the new University fight song from the 125th committee.

“Most importantly, though it is not physical, we send our hopes for the future of this university, our community and our nation with this time capsule as well,” said Sweet.

LMU began its celebration in 2022 with a theme “Four Seasons to New Seasons.” LMU highlighted its humble beginnings on the grounds of the then-defunct Four Seasons Hotel in 1897. One hundred and twenty-five years later this living memorial to Lincoln can take a student from pre-kindergarten, at the J. Frank White Academy, all the way to a professional degree. The University’s footprint stretches from Corbin, Kentucky, to Tampa, Florida, with online offerings reaching across the country. With an enrollment of over 5,000 students and an economic impact on the region that exceeds $100 million, LMU is fulfilling the mission established by its founders.