Time Capsule Opening

Time Capsule Discovered on Meharry’s Campus

Meharry’s past collided with its future in a big way earlier this year when construction workers building the new Alumni Hall unearthed a time capsule sealed behind the building marker of Meharry’s original Alumni Hall.

Sixty years ago, on March 11, 1952 Meharry students and administrators held a ground breaking for the first Alumni Hall, a $600,000 structure that was used for community activities and dormitory space.
Years later the building fell into disrepair. It sat vacant until this year when Meharry officials began building its new $1.3 million Alumni Hall in the same location in the center of campus near Meharry Blvd.  At that time builders discovered a sealed copper box buried during construction of the first Alumni Hall by the class of 1952.

Its contents were:

  • A speech made at Alumni Hall Cornerstone given by the Dental Class of 1920
  • A list of building fund contributions from the dental class of 1920 and an envelope
  • A program from the 77th Baccalaureate Service on June 8, 1952
  • A Bulletin of Meharry Medical College, Alumni Issue. Vol XLVIII, No. 2 from April 1952

The documents revealed a glimpse into Meharry’s past. For example, the Bulletin of Meharry Medical College (the official magazine of Meharry at the time) noted the conversion from gas to coal heating saying “substantial savings in operating costs are anticipated.”

The speech at the Alumni Hall cornerstone noted, “it is true that we have had some delays since this task was undertaken; inflation, high wages, steel shortages, etc. but these good people have held fast and had patience and now they are about to see their dream come true.”

Barbara Grissom, a keeper of Meharry’s historical achieves, said all of the documents contribute to Meharry’s knowledge of its history. All four of the documents are new to Meharry’s historical collection.

“What is significant is what was happening at the time is still relevant today,” Grissom said. “It’s also good to see how much they loved Meharry and how they took the time and energy to preserve these documents.”