Penn State Fayette students seal time capsule to be opened in 2050

Campus and student leadership seal time capsule to be opened in 2050

Chancellor Charles Patrick (left) joins Student Government Association President-Elect Maria Catalina (middle) and Vice President-Elect Jacob Levendosky (right) in the dedication of the time capsule.

Credit: Penn State Fayette

LEMONT FURNACE, Pa. — The Student Government Association (SGA) officers at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus dedicated a time capsule, containing more than 60 items representative of the historic 2019–20 and 2020–21 academic years, on April 30.

Students, as well as staff and faculty, contributed mementos for inclusion — including Penn State and campus apparel; graduation tassels; flyers and gifts from student activities and clubs; and a student handbook and tuition booklet. SGA officers, as well as Chancellor Charles Patrick, contributed letters to the 2050 cohort. The women’s volleyball team generously donated their 2019 USCAA National Championship medal.

Regional and national periodicals and magazines from present day were added, including the 2020 issue of The Eberly Campus Magazine. To capture the culture and social turbulence of 2020, the officers included presidential campaign materials, a Black Lives Matter poster, LGBTQ pride materials, a copy of the United States Constitution, a list of popular social media sites and slang words, the average cost of living, a flash drive containing popular music, and an Amazon gift card.

No time capsule of 2020 would be complete without the emblematic artifacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted school, work and athletic competition on campus and resulted in loss of life, financial hardship and social isolation across the nation and the world at large. The recipients of the time capsule will find a medical face mask and shield; COVID-19 testing kits and smell-test cards and a flyer for the campus food pantry, which helped to feed students in need.

“My hope is that Penn Staters of 2050 will understand the historical events that happened during this time and appreciate our perseverance to overcome the struggles and restrictions and create the safest environment for our students and community,” said Maria Catalina, a first-year business student from Scottdale, Pennsylvania, who will serve as the 2021–22 SGA president.

“What I hope I can remember from this time are the ways in which adversity positively benefited me and how I see the world."
— Jacob Levendosky, student

The time capsule, contained in two locked boxes, was sealed into the wall of the lower level of the Williams Building to be opened on Friday, April 29, 2050.

Jacob Levendosky, a first-year biology student from Scottdale, Pennsylvania, and SGA vice president-elect, plans to return to campus for the opening of the time capsule in 2050.

“What I hope I can remember from this time are the ways in which adversity positively benefited me and how I see the world,” he said. “Things that I had previously taken for granted — like mask-free socializing — are now what I am so grateful for.”

Brandon Demchak, 2021 graduate and outgoing SGA vice president, said, “One thing I know I will never forget is becoming a THON dancer and going on the spring break trip to Washington, D.C., since those were the last things I was able to do before the pandemic. I will remember having events online over Zoom and having drive-in movies on campus during my senior year.”

The project, developed and funded by the SGA Student Affairs Committee, received support from the Office of Student Affairs and the chancellor. Eric Laurent, maintenance supervisor, and Terry Smitley, maintenance worker, installed the time capsule in the wall and provided wooden trim and a marker plaque.

“To my knowledge, this is the first time capsule the campus has ever organized,” said Chad Long, director of student affairs. “Reading the chancellor's ‘Letter to The Future’ made me realize that our time here on Earth goes by so quickly, and what we leave behind not only tells our story but can change the future — for better or worse.”