In spring 2014, a project began in a small communications class that would evolve into a unique student-led project of the Centennial Celebration. The Student Time Capsule was created by students for students to document their achievements at UTEP. The class that started the project ended that spring, but as students found out about the project, a new group took over and officially became “Students of the Centennial.” Some of the original class leaders stayed on, serving as the driving force of the group and solidifying the concept of the Time Capsule and the importance of the physical items that will be buried on campus for the next 100 years.
The Time Capsule is not just about the physical items, though. Instead, it is meant to capture the spirit of UTEP, represented by each college, athletics and each unique individual that contributes, promotes, participates, and is represented on campus. What is the spirit of the Centennial? To each individual this “spirit” has a different meaning — from their UTEP pride to their personal interests in the betterment of the border and El Paso. Students of the Centennial are hoping to capture the thoughts of as many individuals as possible, from selfies to letters.
There is a vivid and rich history within the walls of UTEP and part of the Time Capsule’s mission is to also capture the heart of UTEP. But, how do you capture the heart of a university that overlooks another country? How do you capture the heart of a university that graduates the largest number of Hispanic students in the country? How do you capture the heart of a university that is a staple of the city and of international relations? This is challenge the Students of the Centennials are facing, but they are hopeful to give UTEP the heart it deserves.
As part of the Time Capsule, Students of the Centennial have asked representatives from all of the colleges and departments at UTEP to donate or contribute important memorabilia and have asked for all the colleges to help promote the Centennial events, along with the awareness of the Student Time Capsule.
One of the methods the Students of the Centennial have used to create awareness was by joining forces with the Centennial Celebration Office, the Centennial Museum, the Art Department, UTEP Athletics, Academic Technologies, individual communication and gaming classes, as well as advertising and marketing classes, and many more.
With this support, the Students of the Centennial’s leadership team was able to develop an on-campus game to engage students in contributing memorabilia for the Time Capsule. The “Capture a Burro,” as it has become dubbed will commence on October 13 and end on November 13 and will include prizes for the winner totaling more than $300 in UTEP gear, keepsakes, and much more.
A project that began as a physical object has evolved into something the original students did not expect. Their “in-class” project would take a life of its own and now, more than just a team putting together a time capsule, they are an officially Registered Student Organization with hopes of continuing to serve the UTEP student community long after the Centennial Celebration. The students grew as the project grew, giving it a spirit and heart.
As for the Time Capsule, that remains a key project and everyone is invited to a special Time Capsule Showcase on Wednesday, Dec. 3, at the Centennial Museum to see all of the items collected for the Time Capsule.
To learn more about the Students of the Centennial, the Time Capsule Project and the “Capture a Burro” campus game, visit the Facebook page: UTEP Centennial Time Capsule, or visiting “Students of the Centennial” on Mine Tracker.