Three students sign steel beam to be used in Martin Hall construction

Time Capsule Holds Artifacts from 1964 Campus Life

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Thousands of students have called Pennypacker home during their academic careers at Penn State. A glimpse into the experience of the building’s first residents was offered on Wednesday, December 6.

Members of the Clayco Design Team joined, students, staff, and community members in Findlay Commons to witness the opening of a 1964 time capsule discovered in the building’s cornerstone during renovations.

“I was excited to see what we were going to find,” says Kayla Olowin, one of four student leaders to open the time capsule. “It was cool to see how everything has changed.”

Items inside the time capsule included a dining hall meal slip, registration and pricing documents for on-campus housing, as well as two conduct codes, one each for men and women, among other documents from the University.

Inspired by the glimpse into the past, student leaders are planning to create a time capsule of their own.

“We’ll look into that starting spring semester,” says Olowin, vice president of the Association of Residence Hall Students (ARHS).

Laura Daly, president of ARHS, would like to see items representing what Penn State campus life is like today.

“We should show what different things cost, and it would be cool to include a current iPhone because it will be so different by the time the capsule is opened,” said Daly.

While contents of the Pennypacker Hall capsule included guides and papers from 1964, filling a new time capsule may require materials from unique sources.

“It’s going to be different because we don’t have a lot of paper copies of things—everything is online,” says Olowin of possible items for the Martin Hall time capsule. “I think it’s going to be more screen captures of Twitter and Instagram and other social media.”

The time capsule event also included an opportunity for attendees to sign two steel beams to be used in the construction of Martin Hall, scheduled to open as part of East Halls in August 2018. Students signed their names as well as messages to future generations on viewpoints and topics of 2017. One note, for example, expressed an opinion on current NFL players, noting “Dak > Wentz.”

Supported by Clayco Inc., Penn State Food Services provided a create-your-own treat station at the event, where students enjoyed designing their own holiday-themed cookies as they sipped hot chocolate. Attendees were also invited to take home a chocolate chip cookie provided by the Penn State Bakery.

Pennypacker Hall is being renovated as part of the East Halls renovation project and is slated to reopen in fall 2018. Once the East Halls renovation project is completed, Pollock Halls will undergo a similar transformation.

For updates on residence hall construction projects, visit