BHC peeks into its past with opening of 1971 time capsule

2 people looking at contents of time capsule on a table
Debra Rhoades, intake and assessment specialist at the college’s Community Education Center in Kewanee, and David Emerick, BHC trustee emeritus, look through the contents of the 1971 time capsule at the 75th Anniversary Celebration.

On Oct. 19, 2021, Black Hawk College celebrated its 75th anniversary and a highlight of the event was the opening of the 1971 time capsule.

“Today we have the honor of opening a time capsule, discovering the artifacts they left for us, and learning more about what life was like at BHC circa 1971,” said Ashtin Trimble, director of library services.

“What’s fascinating about time capsules is that when the items go in, they are everyday things, maybe even mundane. But they come out as artifacts,” she said.

In 1946, Moline Community College was founded to provide education and training to World War II veterans. In 1961, Moline Community College became Black Hawk College, the first county-wide junior college in Illinois.

The time capsule was “soldered air tight” the afternoon of Wednesday, Oct. 13, 1971. It contained items from both the Moline Community College and Black Hawk College eras, including:

  • College catalogs from 1950-72
  • Issues of The Chieftain, the Black Hawk College student newspaper
  • Cassette tapes with recordings of Black Hawk College events and news highlights
  • Programs from the inauguration of Richard Whalen, the first president of Black Hawk College, and Alban Reid, the second president of Black Hawk College
  • A copy of the 1959 edition of Galaxy, the Moline Community College yearbook
  • Copies of the Rock Island Argus and the Daily Dispatch newspapers
  • Programs from Moline Community College and Black Hawk College theatrical productions
  • Course schedules
  • Handwritten notes
  • Political/social buttons
  • A disposable ink pen
student putting time capsule items in display case
Marketing intern Lizbet Salazar places items from the 1971 time capsule in the display case in Building 1 at the Quad-Cities Campus.

The time capsule contents are on display at the Quad-Cities Campus in Building 1 in the display case on the third floor near the courtyard entrance.

View photos of the 1971 time capsule contents on Facebook.

A new time capsule was dedicated Oct. 19 and will be sealed Nov. 29.

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