Islander History is Collected and Preserved in Time Capsule

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – In the last 75 years, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi has built a rich and storied history as a top-tier public institution that has been recognized and celebrated through local, regional, and national accolades. When it opened its doors on April 1, 1947, leaders at the Island University set forth a path of academic prestige that has forged it into the Hispanic Serving, R2 research institution that stands today.

Throughout the last year, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and the Islander community celebrated the university’s 75th anniversary through multiple events, exhibitions, and the publishing of a historical book. To wrap up the celebration, the university’s Mary and Jeff Bell Library collaborated with other campus units to collect items for a time capsule, a preservation tool that holds personal and historical mementos for future Islanders to enjoy.

Unlike some time capsules that are stored underground or within a metal vault, the university’s time capsule is stored in the Special Collections and Archives of the Bell Library. The blue and green box is decorated with Islander-themed stickers and is tied neatly with a piece of string. The top of the box dons a message that reads, “Restricted: Do not open until 2047.”

Amanda Kowalski, TAMU-CC Digital Archivist, said the time capsule not only preserves Islander culture but shows its growth as well.  

“A time capsule is a fun interpretation of history,” Kowalski said. “Normally, it is archives staff who decided what should be kept in it, but this time, we decided it would be best to put that task into the hands of the community we serve. Institutional history is vital for us to grow our culture, and I hope that when this capsule is finally unsealed, that culture and personality stand the test of time and are reflected through all the mementos we’ve collected.”

The 75th anniversary time capsule contains more than 280 items and letters that capture Islander pride and spirit including photos, an Izzy bobblehead, Islander cups, keychains, athletics memorabilia, and more.

Graphic design major Sarah Hebel ‘23, designed stickers to be placed into the time capsule. Her stickers highlighted key aspects of the Island campus, from University Beach to Cat Alley.

“I hope when future Islanders open the time capsule, they will see the things that had importance to us in 2022, things that made the Islander experience,” Hebel said. “When those students see my work, I hope they are inspired to consider what makes the island special to them, what makes it home. I’d love to return that day and reflect on those items and the time I spent here.”

The time capsule is scheduled to be unsealed in 2047 to celebrate the university’s 100th anniversary.