Time Capsule Buried Once Again at Dutch Quad

A man and a woman place a metal box into a cement cornerstone with 1964 engraved on it
President Rodríguez and Christy Doyle, director of University events, place the 175th Anniversary Time Capsule in the northeast cornerstone of Dutch Quad last week. (Photo by Patrick Dodson)

ALBANY, N.Y. (May 10, 2022) — The University at Albany’s time capsule is back where it belongs — sealed behind the cornerstone of Dutch Quad, where it is expected to remain for at least another 50 years. 

President Havidán Rodríguez presided over the pandemic-postponed re-interment of the capsule on Reading Day, May 5, almost exactly three years since it was opened in 2019 to celebrate UAlbany’s 175th anniversary. 

Throughout 2019, the University solicited items from across campus, including each of its nine schools and colleges, for inclusion. The new cache includes a vial of air from the School of Public Health, a recipe card for a custom pizza from the Office of the Provost, a 2019 football jersey and a photo montage from University Libraries, among other mementos. 

Four men, two in hard hats, are ready to push in a cement cornerstone of a building
The setting of the original cornerstone at Dutch Quad in 1964, including a time capsule placed there by students. (UAlbany file photo)

While that process concluded in December 2019, the capsule could not be replaced until the weather was warm enough to properly seal it back into its concrete chamber. Before that happened, the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe, forcing the University and the rest of the world to refocus its attention on the unprecedented two-year emergency response that followed. 

The president acknowledged this dramatic turn of events in reading from a new postscript added to the letter he initially wrote to the future UAlbany president in 2019.  

“Many transformational, challenging and inspiring things have happened since I wrote this letter,” the postscript begins before going on to reference not just the pandemic but the May 2020 murder of George Floyd and the “national reckoning on race and social justice,” the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and the fall 2021 opening of ETEC, UAlbany’s state-of-the-art research and development complex.   

“As you can perceive from this postscript,” the president wrote, “this past year and a half has been one of tremendous mood swings — back and forth — from fear to pessimism and anxiety to faith and optimism, but it is hope, kindness, altruism and resiliency that truly defines the human spirit.” 

The capsule was initially sealed inside Dutch Quad in 1964 during the construction of UAlbany’s Uptown Campus. An event to mark the re-re-opening of the time capsule has been tentatively scheduled for May 2072.