Penn State Abington Encapsulates History in New Residence Building

Chris Hurley posses with time capsule signed by members of the Abington Campus community and Lions Gate construction team.
Thursday, May 18, 2017

Penn State Abington recently commemorated the approaching completion of its first residence building, Lions Gate Apartments, by preserving a snapshot of 2017 for future generations.

On April 4, members of the Penn State Abington community gathered to witness the placement of a time capsule, which contained memorabilia of modern-day Penn State life. Items such as letters, Penn State mementos, photos, and copies of student newspapers were sealed away and placed behind a cornerstone of the four-story building.

The time capsule ceremony included a luncheon on campus, a tour of Lions Gate, and the signing and placement of the capsule. Penn State Abington will hold a grand opening celebration for the residence hall in the fall.

“I wanted to have various individuals represented within the time capsule,” says Chris Hurley, senior director of Housing and Food Services. “That included those who were involved in Lions Gate’s construction, members of the student body, and Damian Fernandez, the chancellor of the Abington campus.”

Hurley was inspired to initiate the time capsule project by recent findings of time capsules in residence halls at Penn State University Park.

A file containing instructions and a note about the time capsule—which is intended to be opened in 2067—has been placed in the chancellor’s office at Abington and is to be passed on to chancellors to come.

“Many of the guests provided items or wrote letters to be put in the time capsule,” says Elizabeth Kearns, director of Housing and Food Services at Penn State Abington. “The student leaders and campus leadership were excited to be part of this process.”

Lions Gate will house 400 students in four-person and six-person apartments. The building features spaces for student activities, study pods or lounges on each floor, knowledge stations, and seminar learning spaces.

The time capsule at Abington will serve as an example for an exciting way to preserve Penn State history for years to come.

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