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Time Capsule Found at A&M

A time capsule containing important remnants of early 20th century Texas A&M University history is on display at the Cushing Memorial Library and Archives.

The time capsule was discovered when stonemasons from Watson Signs and Monuments were helping to renovate the historic YMCA building in the heart of campus.

Encased in a cornerstone on the southeast side of the building, the time capsule’s contents were found inside a copper box (measuring 4 ½” x 5” x 10”).

The capsule contained a 1911-1912 annual catalogue, a 1912 student handbook, an article on the groundbreaking of the YMCA building from “The Battalion,” pieces of a document that lists YMCA officers and YMCA bylaws, and a list of the members of the Class of 1914.

Although the YMCA thrived for many years without a building, the organization became the center of campus life for the young men of the then- Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas once the building was constructed.  At the time, the YMCA building was viewed as one of the most beautiful buildings on campus. Among the many donors was Colonel E.B. Cushing, after whom the Cushing Memorial Library and Archives is named. John D. Rockefeller matched donations raised for the building.

All rights reserved by Cushing Memorial Library and Archives, Texas A&M

“The cornerstone was a gift of the class of 1914. This class also put together the capsule and placed it in the cornerstone sometime in 1912. These items were discovered when the stonemason was cutting the cornerstone to be reused in the new west wing of the YMCA,” explained Mary Manning, assistant university archivist.

The time capsule would have gone undiscovered, except the cornerstone needed refitting around a building support column. The stonecutter’s blade sliced through one of the long sides of the box when cutting through the stone.

“Fortunately, the construction crew extricated this valuable artifact with only minimal damage to the materials inside the box,” Manning added.

Cushing Memorial Library and Archives is cleaning and preserving the materials, which includes piecing together a document containing YMCA officers and bylaws (a typed document that is now in pieces).

The time capsule materials are on display in the Mayo-Thomas Room on the first floor of the Cushing Library.

 

The materials are extremely fragile — having baked in the Texas heat for close to one hundred years and requiring special preservation treatment to keep them available for generations to come.

 

You can support the University Libraries with a gift of an endowment to the Texas A&M Foundation.

Contact

Carl Jaedicke ’73, Vice President for Development
c-jaedicke@tamu.edu |  (979) 845-8161 or (800) 392-3310

3 Responses to “Time Capsule Found at A&M”

  • Tom:

    I bet it also had a can of green Pearl Beer……don’t drink it. Trust me…….

  • Warren Martin:

    Spent my first night in Aggieland at the YMCA in August 1952. My father, class of 1929, had been a member and since as a career Army officer, we were stationed in Virginia, I needed a room until the semester started. He had written the YMCA director, whose name escapes me, requesting I be allowed to room there until the semester was begun. The “Y” has always been a place of fond memories and I am glad it is being renovated and not demolished like so many.

  • DON WILLIS'63:

    RESPONDING TO WARREN MARTIN. I WAS PRESIDENT OF THE YMCA IN 1963, AND COORDINATOR OF FISH CAMP. THE DIRECTOR OF THE “Y” WAS GORDON GAY, WHO WAS A GRACIOUS MAN, AND WHO I OWE A DEBT OF GRATITUDE. I BELIEVE THE DIRECTOR BEFORE HIM WAS A MR. CASHION (SP}

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