Ryle Council creates 50-year time capsule

Students walking outside Ryle Hall. Ryle Hall Council is working on a 50-year time capsule. (Photo by Austin Hornbostel/TMN)

Ryle Hall Council is working on a time capsule filled with mementos from various Truman State University organizations to be revealed at next school year’s convocation and opened in the 2067-2068 school year.

Junior Allison Phillips, Ryle Hall Council President, said all Truman organizations, approved by the Center for Student Involvement, were sent an email in February about contributing something to the capsule. She said currently 42 organizations are adding items to the time capsule.

Phillips said organizations could put a scrapbook page, physical item or digital item, like a PowerPoint presentation saved on a flash drive, into the capsule. She said they could contribute one, two or all three of those options.

Phillips said she came up with the idea to do a time capsule for Truman last semester when she was vice president of Ryle Hall Council.

To fund the project, Ryle Hall Council requested grants from three different sources: Residence Hall Association, the Office of Residence Life and Student Government. Phillips said Residence Hall Association and Residence Life approved the requested grants, and they are waiting to hear from Student Government.  

Syrus Duffy, Ryle Hall Council historian, said he was involved in gathering information and writing the Residence Life grant application and met with many people, including University President Sue Thomas, regarding the logistics of the project.

“They ask us a bunch of questions to gauge exactly what we’re asking money for and how it will benefit the campus,” Duffy said. “So Res Life wanted to know how it drove communities together, how it would be inclusive and diverse, and how many students would be impacted by this.”

Ryle Hall Director Laina Porter said if the council runs out of options for funding, they might meet with Thomas again to look at more options.

“[Thomas] was very supportive of the project and told us if we ran into any hiccups to reach out to her,” Porter said.

Porter said the project will cost about $800 with the Amish Handcrafted maple trunk being the most expensive part at about $700.

Phillips said the council told Truman organizations involved in the project they might need to send in $5 to help with expenses, but so far that money has not been collected.

“That was just a precautionary measure for if we didn’t get all of our grants,” Phillips said.

Porter also said other expenses will include plaques for the organizations that contributed, the scrapbook — which will include a page for each organization with photos, quotes or mission statements they feel best represents their group — and a special lock for the trunk.

Porter said the plan is for the time capsule keys to be put in a picture frame and hung in the President’s office or in the reception area of the President’s office. She said they are still in the process of negotiating a place to keep the trunk until it is opened in the future.

“It looks like, at least for a period of time, it is going to be in the library, so that way students can look at it,” Porter said.

Porter said the library has special rules about what can be placed there and for how long.

“Our hope is that once it’s opened, the contents of it will be displayed in the visitor’s center, but that’s kind of a hard thing to negotiate when most of us are not going to be here in Kirksville in 50 years,” Porter said.

Porter said she maintains an advisory role in the project while allowing the students to take the lead.

Duffy said Ryle Hall Council thought i was important to do the time capsule now because it is Truman’s 150th anniversary.

“We really want to showcase what this school year looks like and what it means to us,” Duffy said.