Main navigation | Section navigation | Content

The Lincoln Hall Project « College of Liberal Arts & Sciences « University of Illinois

Lincoln Hall Project

Time Capsule

A Glimpse of Campus Life in the Early 21st Century

To commemorate the times during this historic renovation of Lincoln Hall, a time capsule was installed on August 16, 2013, with the intent of it being reopened in 50 years. The capsule was sealed at the Lincoln Hall Open House on October 27, 2012. Here are the items that are included: 

The Original i>clicker

Since it was invented in 2003 by physicists at the University of Illinois, the i>clicker has added a new dimension to classroom learning. There are currently more than 2 million in use by students and instructors across North America, including many classes at the U of I. This is the first model, with a price tag of $31.80. (Donated with a note by inventors Timothy Stelzer, Mats Selen, and Gary Gladding in the Department of Physics.)

A Groundbreaking Novel and a Medal

Scholars at the U of I produce countless articles, papers, and books that advance our understanding and interpretation of the human condition. Professor of English and novelist Richard Powers wrote The Echo Maker, a National Book Award winner and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, exploring the “improvised human self and the even more precarious brain.” Powers received the medal when his book was named a finalist for the award. (Donated with a note by Richard Powers.)

Pennies from the Renovation Kickoff

Attendees at the renovation kickoff ceremony in October 2009 donated pennies as a gesture of good luck and a reminder of Abraham Lincoln.

Corn from the Morrow Plots

Established as a research field on the U of I campus in 1876, the Morrow Plots include the longest continuous corn crop in the world. The capsule includes a vial filled with corn kernels from the 2012 growing season. (Donated by U of I agronomist Robert Dunker.)

The Students’ Scroll

Signed during Homecoming Week 2012, four pages of scroll paper filled with handwritten messages provide a glimpse of campus life in students’ own words.

The 2012-2013 iBook

The iBook has been helping U of I students stay on schedule since 1959. Produced by the student-run Illini Union Board, it’s estimated that more than half of the students on campus use the iBook as their primary datebook. Income from sales of the iBook benefits students directly in the form of educational, social, and cultural programs. (Donated by Illini Union Bookstore.)

Discoveries in Nanotechnology

You may have to look closely, but nanotechnology is a growing area of discovery for science researchers at the U of I. The capsule includes a sensor chip developed on campus for a new method of multiplexed disease diagnostics, including those for brain tumors. (Donated by Professor Ryan Bailey of the Department of Chemistry.)

A List of Ideas

From smart phones to Frisbees, more than 150 ideas for what to include in the Lincoln Hall time capsule were submitted by U of I students, faculty, staff, alumni, and members of the community. One of the ideas was to include the entire colorful list of submissions. Read the list of all time capsule ideas.

Lincoln Hall Historical Photos

The idea for historical photos of Lincoln Hall was the winning entry in the Lincoln Hall time capsule Contest, as determined by a vote by U of I students, faculty, staff, and alumni. The winning idea was submitted by Mike Bohlmann, information technology director in the College of Media, and U of I alumnus (AB '97, German).

This Old Hall

The video series This Old Hall was posted on the Lincoln Hall website, YouTube, and broadcast on UI-7, the U of I’s cable television channel, as a way for viewers to stay abreast of progress and interesting developments during the roughly two-and-a-half-year renovation of Lincoln Hall that began in 2010. (Produced by the College of LAS Office of Communications and Marketing.)

A Menu from 2012

One of the best indicators of how times have changed is how diets change. U of I Dining Services works hard to provide a balanced and nutritional diet, with a quarter of its budget going toward locally grown and processed food. A dining hall menu shows what was served at five student dining halls on February 9, 2012. (Menu donated by University Housing Dining Services).

Lincoln Hall History Publications

Several publications produced by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences highlighted the history of Lincoln Hall and were distributed as souvenirs during the Lincoln Hall Open House.

Photo of the Time Capsule Contest Winner

A photo of Lincoln Hall time capsule contest winner Mike Bohlmann sealing the time capsule with Chancellor Phyllis Wise during Homecoming celebrations on October 27, 2012.

List of Contents

This list will be included to help explain the significance of the items when the capsule is opened in 2063.


time capsule

Mike Bohlmann (AB ’97, German) and Former Chancellor Phyllis Wise seal the Lincoln Hall time capsule during the building’s open house at Homecoming 2012. Bohlmann, director of information technology in U of I’s College of Media, received the honor of sealing the capsule for submitting the winning idea (historical Lincoln Hall photos) in a vote amongst students, faculty, staff, and alumni to determine the capsule's contents. The Lincoln Hall time capsule will be opened in 2063—the building’s 150th anniversary of its original dedication.