The sea of windows that ran along room 505 in Kettering Labs offered a welcoming light to the guests who came to discover just what was inside that copper chest.
On Friday, July 27 students, faculty and staff of the University of Dayton patiently waited as Scott Segalewitz, associate dean for experiential learning and student success, and Kevin Pierson, senior lab manager for the Kettering Labs Makerspace, thoughtfully removed each item from a time capsule discovered in what is believed to have been the dean of engineering’s office in the late 1960s.
Eddy Rojas, the current dean of the School of Engineering, greeted the crowd. “We have an interesting activity at the School of Engineering at the University of Dayton today. We were doing some renovations of our building and we came across what we believe to be a time capsule from the day the building was probably built, which is close to 50 years ago,” Rojas said, to both the people in the crowd and those watching the event unfold on Facebook Live.
But the time capsule almost didn’t make it to the ceremony. Julie Motz, senior lab manager for electrical and computer engineering, found it in a trash pile and decided to take a closer look.
The hidden treasures that made their home inside the rusty, metal box included an old newspaper, maps of campus, brochures, an engraving of the chapel, a photo of Father Raymond A. Roesch S.M. performing a ground breaking for Kettering Labs on campus and other various UD related documents.
Among the crowd was Bob Wolff, who worked as an engineering professor at UD around the time the capsule was placed in its resting place over 50 years ago.
“I thought it was great . . . it was very interesting and brought back a lot of memories. The people, the things,” Wolff said.
Wolff graduated from UD in 1958 and started teaching manufacturing, mechanical engineering and technical report writing soon after.
Kelly Mofield, director of communication for the School of Engineering, stated all the materials create a nice snapshot of UD engineering in that time period.
“It gives us some much needed historical context for the building that we didn’t have before,” she said.
The University plans to digitize the photos, letters and small brochures for future use and then turn everything over to the University archivist for permanent storage. The items in the time capsule will go into protective sleeves and be shown at the fall faculty and staff meeting on Aug. 17.