Construction workers discovered a time capsule from 1965 while removing a plaque from the entrance floor of Matheson Hall during renovations Sept. 30. The time capsule was opened Oct. 5 during a ceremony in which members of the Drexel and LeBow College of Business communities bade farewell to Matheson Hall.katie.lavoie | The Triangle
The contents of the time capsule, which were well preserved, included a brochure titled “Answers to questions about Drexel and the Drexel Plan of Cooperative education,” as well as a Business Administration Day card from 1965 and a copy of The Triangle from April 23, 1965.
Additionally, a blank examination book called the “Drexel Institute of Technology Blue Book” and a copy of the Drexel Institute of Technology Bulletin: Undergraduate Curricula 1965-1966 were found in the capsule.
Three issues of The Ledger: The Quarterly Journal of the Undergraduate College of Business Administration dated 1963-1954 were also included in the time capsule, as was a copy of “Prentice Hall 1964 Federal Tax Course, Students Edition” by Robert B. Mitchell and Stanley B. Tunick.
The final items in the time capsule were two cigarette butts with the following names written in ink: W. Martin, E. Martin, Macauley, S. Smith, Carlo, Barry, Lucke, Halpin, McNamara and Mueller.
“I predicted The Triangle being in the time capsule. I thought the documentation of classes and promotions of the LeBow Business College made sense, but I can’t figure out the cigarette butts,” Mark Eyerly, execute director of communications for the LeBow College of Business, said.
George P. Tsetsekos, dean of the college, had a similar reaction to the answer of what was in the time capsule.
“I was surprised at some things like the advertisements and the textbook. I wasn’t expecting the textbook, but it was written by a faculty member and was very popular at the time,” he said.
When asked why the decision was made to open the time capsule, Eyerly answered, “I think when someone buries a time capsule when a building is constructed; they expect it to be opened when that building is torn down.”
Several prominent alumni remembered their time at Matheson, such as Tsetsekos, who recalled his first finance class in Room 108 and described the demolition as “the end of the beginning.”
Randall Burket, class of ’82, chair of the Dean’s Advisory Board, also visited old memories of his first accounting class in Matheson with a former professor, Joseph Ford.
“It was cool to hear the alumni’s perspective of Matheson building before I was born,” Danielle Fagnani, a junior chemistry major, said.
Elizabeth James, a sophomore design and merchandising major, agreed.
“It was exciting to see the time capsule, but it was also nice to hear the words of former students at Matheson,” she said.
There are plans to bury a replacement time capsule with the new building. By next year a committee will be organized to prioritize students’ requests and ideas of items to be placed in the next time capsule.
“I am very ecstatic and emotionally attached to the Matheson building, but very happy because I worked very hard on a professional level to make this program happen, and you always encounter challenges, and I am very happy the business college has overcome those challenges to make this a reality,” Tsetsekos said. “I cannot be thankful enough for Bennett LeBow for his continuous commitment and President [John A.] Fry for his approval of the program.”
When asked what he would like to be placed in the new time capsule, Tsetsekos answered, “A picture of the faculty and graduating class of the college of that year, an issue of The Triangle and a Google Certificate.”
Bradley Statler, president of Keating Building Corp., announced the company’s timeline for the construction of the new building. He said the demolition will continue through November.
“There were be no clean fall,” Statler said.
After November, the construction team will dig a 25-foot hole and will lay the foundation early next year. In May 2012 the company plans to start setting up the steel, and in November 2012 they plan to start on the exterior. However, it won’t be until the end of 2013 that the inside systems, technology, equipment, etc. will be finished.
“Let’s hope for a dry fall,” Statler said. “The building will be ready for occupation in the spring of 2014.”
Matheson Hall will eventually become a 12-story, 177,500-square-foot business center that will be home to the Bennett S. LeBow College of Business. The project is funded primarily by a $45 million commitment from the College’s namesake, Bennett S. LeBow. His gift is the largest in Drexel’s history from a single donor.
Updates of the construction project can be found at buildinglebow.com.