ISVI’s Time Capsule!

The Illinois School for the Visually Impaired (ISVI) recently planted a time capsule. When asked about the size of the time capsule prior to the ceremony on May 1, ISVI Director of School Development, Marsha Schoth, joked that, “From the hole in the ground out there…it’s a pretty big one.” The burying of the time capsule was a final research project of ISVI Keyboarding Class/Information Processing II students under the direction of their educator, Donna Rowland.

A ceremony was held in the auditorium preceding the interment of the capsule. Rowland welcomed their special guests, including Ginny Fanning of the Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Andy Ezard and Illinois College’s Director of Career Services, Susie Drake, before announcing ISVI Superintendent, Serena Preston. Preston read a copy of her own letter that had been placed in the time capsule, which commended the staff and students as great assets of ISVI.

The contents of the time capsule represent significant events and parts of our lives, summised Rowland. For the future, it will give a glimpse of “life before.” Her classes voted to open the time capsule on May 1st, 2029, after 15 years have passed. The capsule is appropriately named “Warriors Strong,” after the mascot of ISVI. During the ceremony in the auditorium that day, students from Rowland’s classes arose to the podium to present prepared speeches about their time capsule project. Topics ranged from discussing the ideas behind time capsules, famous time capsules (such as a Star Wars capsule or Steve Jobs’ buried capsule from 1983 that remains in Aspen, CO), how their composite capsule was designed, and even the suggesting the possibility of a cryogenically frozen President Roosevelt himself in a time capsule.

The contents of ISVI’s 20” x 20” x 11” and almost 25 pound capsule include: a proclamation from Mayor Ezard’s office (that he read during the ceremony), a pin of the key to the City of Jacksonville, time capsule project letters in both Braille and print, an old cane donated by student Trey, a flash drive with a multitude of recorded ISVI events that took place throughout the years, a beautiful scrapbook from student Yvette, a copy of a letter and several correspondences that Rowland had with astronaut Captain James Lovell during her class’ research on Apollo 13, student arts and crafts, copies of The Source newspaper, a pin from the Lion’s Club and many, many special photos and personal notes.

After the presentations, the capsule was buried on ISVI grounds near the bridge between the Media Center and the Main Building. The interment of the capsule in this final part of the ceremony was made possible with shovels of dirt from special staff and friends of ISVI. The students were hollering out names for the next “shoveler in line.” The event ended with cheers and chanting of “Warriors Strong! Warriors Strong!”

Rowland expressed, “My students have received so many wonderful compliments for their presentations and for the completion of their work involved with this project. I am very proud of them and hope they will remember this research project for years to come. Also, I am very thankful that I had the opportunity to incorporate this assignment as one of their research projects this year and hope they enjoyed the learning process. Each one of the items placed in our time capsule will provide future generations a glimpse of things that were important to students and staff, what we were studying and what life was like in Jacksonville, Illinois, on the ISVI campus, during the 2013-2014 school year.  This will ensure a legacy for years to come.”

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About the author

Kyla Hurt is a capable boondoggler trained in the arts; she’s also an accomplished event coordinator with experience from museum fundraising to art festivals. She enjoys puppies, sunshine, and good radishes – and wit. Wit is good, too.

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