Since 1908, the University of Nebraska at Omaha has been documenting its history; including in ways that are not always visible.
Hidden in the ground, even in the walls of some campus buildings, are stories waiting to be shared at a later date. These are the time capsules that have been filled and sealed off by classes of UNO past.
If you spend most of your time on Dodge Campus, it’s likely that you have walked past several of these time capsules.
In 1983, then junior Randy Regan, came up with the idea of a time capsule outside Arts and Sciences Hall to be opened in 2018 to celebrate UNO’s bicentennial. The capsule includes a wide range of items such as a UNO football jersey; a 1983 student handbook and class catalogue; a Caffeine Free Pepsi can; a picture of the Columbia space shuttle; and even a sealed prediction of that year’s homecoming game from then-Athletic Director Don Leahy.
Another time capsule sealed and awaiting its time sits in a wall southwest of the Durham Science Center’s glass atrium. This capsule was placed to help commemorate the building’s cornerstone at the time it was built. Though the contents of this capsule are unclear, and a date for extraction is not known, it remains a relic of UNO past hidden in plain sight.
But not all of these time capsules remain unopened.
A time capsule recently unearthed in front of the Eppley Administration Building has a somewhat interesting story. Buried in 1959, the time capsule was topped with a $600 bronze cap and included hand impressions of then-President Milo Bail and Alpha Phi Omega President Richard Bock. This capsule housed several mid-century items such as Ivy League clothes; letters from each of the college deans; sorority and fraternity pens; even cigarettes and cigars.
The capsule was set to be opened in 2008; however, in 2002 a construction crew doing cement work just outside the administration building accidentally dug the capsule up six years early. That’s when they found out the capsule wasn’t sealed properly and had actually filled with water. The seal was broken and salvageable items were saved and are now in the possession of UNO Archives and Special Collections.
For those more familiar with Scott Campus, it has its fair share of time capsules as well - nine of them to be exact.
As Mammel Hall was being constructed, Suzanne Sollars, an associate professor in UNO’s Department of Psychology came up with the idea to fill nine time capsules to be opened in the next 100 years. EIght of these time capsules will be opened in 2110 and one will be opened in 2035. All capsules were placed within an interior wall of the building with plaques marking their locations. The idea was that, in 2035, more items will be put in the capsule and then each quarter century after, building up content to be reveleaed along with the original 100-year capsule itself.
While it may seem like a long way off until any of these time capsules are opened, knowing they exist sealed with items of UNO’s past can be exciting to think about! Next time you’re near any of these locations, take the time to stop by and imagine what you'd want the future members of the Maverick community to know about what makes UNO special.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.