CWU News

CWU Wildcats Invited to Leave their Legacy, Time Capsules Ceremony Scheduled for May 24

Two Central Washington University students are credited with creating a new tradition they hope will leave a lasting legacy for countless future generations of Wildcats.

The two, Katie DeVore, a senior and the Vice President of the CWU Student Alumni Association, and Jocelyn Matheny, a junior and Vice President of Student Life for the Associated Students of Central Washington University, decided the best way to establish a bridge between current Wildcats and their future counterparts was with a pair of time capsules.

The result of their efforts will be the burying of two time capsules during a public ceremony on May 24 in the Barge Courtyard at 11 a.m. CWU President James L. Gaudino will speak prior to the capsules being sealed and buried.

DeVore said the idea behind the time capsule stemmed from rumors that circulated prior to the recent demolition of the older portion of Samuelson Hall. Some believed that a time capsule was buried inside the structure. But despite efforts by CWU offficials, a capsule was never found, which left DeVore disappointed.

She said that she and Matheny concocted the idea of not only creating and burying a time capsule on campus but also ensuring that its location and contents be archived for future generations. As history and anthropology majors, they said leaving a historical record behind was imperative.

With the help and support of the CWU Alumni Association, the two were able to acquire funding to purchase two time capsules. One will be a 25-year time vault that will be unearthed at CWU’s 150th anniversary in 2041 and the other is a 50-year capsule to be dug-up at the university’s 175th anniversary in 2066.

In addition to sponsoring the cost of the time capsules, the Alumni Assocation also purchased monument slabs that will serve as a marker identifying the location of the capsules as well excavation of the courtyard in order to bury the capsules.

“We like the idea behind this new tradition,” said Robert Ford, CWU's Senior Director, Alumni and Constituent Relations.

The Brooks Library Archives also joined the effort in order to ensure all items are documented and preserved properly so that future generations know exactly what’s inside each capsule and who contributed. Moreover, the engraved stone markers will let visitors know where the time capsules lay and the dates to be exhumed.

Items to be placed in the time capsules will include signed guestbooks, letters, artwork, books, magazines, and other memorabilia.

The public may participate by signing the guestbooks, writing a letter or creating artwork on acid-free paper, or by adding a keepsake that fits within a 8” x14” envelope. The guestbooks can be signed up until the start of the ceremony on May 24.

The other options must be provided to the Alumni Office, located in Barge 115,  by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 22.

There is a cost to be involved and all proceeds go toward student scholarships.

      Sign guestbooks (25-year and/or 50-year)                      $1/each

      Acid-free paper                                                                    $5

      Keepsake in a 8”x10” envelope                                         $25

 “Anyone who is passionate about Central is invited to contribute,” Matheny said.

The project has been a year in the making. Since last November, it’s been publicized at different events to encourage alumni, parents, current and new students, as well as CWU employees to add their memories.

Both DeVore and Matheny labored over what they wanted to have placed in the capsules, but decided whatever it was it had to symbolize this particular moment in time at CWU.

“Central is like one of my favorite things in the universe, and how I got here is a special story to me too,” DeVore said. “Knowing that in 50 years I can bring my family here and show them how important it was to me and to have something physical to exemplify that is really neat.”

Matheny said she wishes she could have seen what it was like at CWU in 1891, at the start of the institution and hopes the time capsules will offer a glimpse of the present to future students.

“I think of this as adding to the experience of the students who are going to be here in 25 years, it’s just one more piece for future students to enrich themselves in the history of this place,” Matheny said.

For more information on how to leave your legacy, visit the CWU Alumni Office in Barge 115 or call 509-963-2160.

Media contact: Dawn Alford, CWU Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1484,