iPad makes a trip to the future

CU is helping to preserve history by placing a time capsule in the cornerstone of Macky Auditorium.

Campus officials and community members gathered outside the auditorium Tuesday to witness the ceremonial placement of the capsule. This marks the end of a yearlong centennial celebration for the historic auditorium, which began last year with the removal of a time capsule from 1910.

“We are proud to connect through a new time capsule to future generations of artists, scholars, audiences and the community of Boulder,” said Rudy Betancourt, director of Macky Auditorium. “Today, we are here to continue a tradition our predecessors

From left, Alan Cass, Tony Moores and Chancellor Phil DiStefano watch as the time capsule is sealed up. Moores suggested that the time capsule include an iPad with various songs and photos of the world since the previous time capsule was placed in Macky Auditorium as well as photos of the first time capsule's contents. (CU Independent/Robert R. Denton)

set by placing a new capsule into Macky’s cornerstone.”

The celebration included speeches by Chancellor Philip DiStefano and Dean Daniel Sher of the College of Music, and a performance by Yamato, a Japanese taiko drumming ensemble. A time capsule committee gathered materials from schools, clubs and organizations on campus.

“These items are the testament of our moment,” Betancourt said.

The new capsule included such items as a copy of Chancellor DiStefano’s State of the Campus Address from 2010; speeches from President Bruce Benson; programs from Macky and the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra; copies of CU magazines such as Bylines and the Coloradan; photographs and a program from the Conference on World Affairs; a copy of The Daily Camera and the Denver Post; and the program from the Pac-12 inaugural season.

The most celebrated addition to the time capsule was an iPad filled with digital content. The iPad includes pictures of the contents of the original time capsule, photos of events from the past 100 years and an article about Apple founder Steve Jobs, who died Oct. 5. It also has a selection of music, from classical and jazz to country and rock ‘n’ roll.

The idea to put an iPad into the capsule came from Tony Moores, a member of the time capsule committee. To ensure that the device would still function in 100 years, Moores placed it in what he referred to as a “high-tech bag.”

“Within this bag are two special bags,” Moores said. “One is a desiccant to take all the moisture out, and the other is labeled an oxygen absorber. So we eliminate two big variables in containing this device, and with any luck this thing will survive.”

The bag also contains detailed instructions on what the iPad is, how to use it and how to charge it. If there is room left in the capsule, Moores said, he will add a small solar charger, allowing those who open the capsule in 100 years to charge the iPad’s battery, even if our technology is obsolete.

“The notion of putting some technology in the time capsule is like a marriage made in heaven,” Moores said.

Robert Collins, a 20-year-old junior psychology major, said he was happy an iPad with music was put into the capsule, and that he enjoyed attending the ceremony.

“It’s pretty cool that this stuff is going be seen in 100 years, and we’ll all probably be dead,” Collins said. “It’s great to be in touch with that.”

All the ceremony’s speakers emphasized this connection with the past and the future.

“In reinstalling a time capsule today, we reconnect with our history,” said Sher, dean of the College of Music. “There won’t be another occasion like this for another hundred years, and what we place in the capsule now will likely be as captivating to that gathering as the first one was to us.”

To see a video about the Macky time capsule, go to here.

Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Hadley Vandiver at Hadley.vandiver@colorado.edu.


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