Capsule to capture current college culture
A time capsule to be opened 100 years from now will be placed in the new South 40 House this spring.
The capsule will include many items that showcase today’s University life and culture, including letters from Chancellor Mark Wrighton, Vice Chancellor for Students James McLeod, Dean of Students Justin Carroll and various student leaders.
Other tokens of University culture for the capsule are under consideration as well, including an iPod and a menu from the dining hall.
Nadeem Siddiqui, resident district manager for Bon Appétit, originally came up with the idea for the capsule.
Siddiqui said his fondness for the University and its campus inspired him with the idea that a capsule of today’s college life needed to be preserved.
“Over all the places I work, this place has such an amazing energy and amazing students that you feel that it needs to be captured somewhere in such a way,” Siddiqui said.
Sophomore Hannah Bowling, speaker of Congress of the South 40, who has been involved in helping with the time capsule, agreed with Siddiqui that the capsule offers a unique opportunity for historical preservation.
“[The time capsule] seems like an incredible opportunity to preserve a piece of the current South 40 history and the current makeup of the student body with all the great new construction going on,” Bowling said.
Although the South 40 House will probably be renovated over the next century, the time capsule is expected to remain in the building until 2110.
According to Sara Koester, an architect from Mackey Mitchell Architects involved in the actual implementation of the time capsule, research is still not completed as to the size and makeup of the actual capsule.
Siddiqui on the University’s future
The capsule, Siddiqui said, will show future generations what life at Washington University was like in 2010.
“I think the main idea is how exciting would it be if we had 100 years later to open and look back at how the students lived their life [and] what the administrators’ vision was,” Siddiqui said.
Siddiqui also mentioned that when the time capsule is opened, it will be interesting for future University members to see how the current administrators’ vision of the University in 2110 compares to what actually occurred.
As much as Siddiqui said he values the current state of the University and its leaders, he expressedeven higher hopes for the University’s future.
Siddiqui said he believes that the University will continue to be involved in many scientific breakthroughs, including cures for cancer and AIDS.
Furthermore, he would like a University alum to become the president of the United States.
“If I had my way,” Siddiqui said, “I would like the U.S. president to be a WU alum because…the students I have met and know have such a clean-cut vision about…improving the world, helping each other, supporting each other, building a community that is designed to help people who might not be as fortunate as we are. [They] are extremely smart people, but very humble.”
Siddiqui also commented on the future of food at the University. He would like University members to continue eating healthy food and locally grown food items.
“I’d love to see, in 2110, farms on campus to provide the whole food system for eating on campus,” Siddiqui said. “[We should] have much more local products, healthy products, and [have] the students and people who come engaged in eating [and know] that it affects their body [and] affects their brain.”