A picture of the past: MSUM adds to time capsule found during construction

By: Amy Dalrymple, INFORUM

Minnesota State University Moorhead preserved a piece of history Friday.

A replica of a 95-year-old time capsule discovered during construction last year was put back in its original spot, along with some additional relics.

Darrell Rowe, the outgoing president of the MSUM Alumni Foundation, said he was honored to return the time capsule to the cornerstone of Weld Hall.

“That is quite a history to have and preserve,” Rowe said. “I’m curious to know when they open it in 100 years what they think.”

Workers stumbled upon the metal container about the size of a shoe box last August during construction of Lommen Hall, which is adjacent to Weld Hall.

Weld Hall, completed in 1916, is MSUM’s oldest building, named after President Frank Weld.

University archivist Terry Shoptaugh opened the capsule live in front of about 200 people last year.

Shoptaugh said he was astonished to find photos, newspaper clippings and historical documents in “pristine condition.”

The contents of the time capsule are particularly valuable to MSUM because a fire in 1930 destroyed President Weld’s papers.

Some of the one-of-a-kind items will remain in the university’s archives, but copies were put back in the time capsule.

MSUM added several new items to the box, including current marketing materials, contracts with the employee unions and a copy of this week’s student newspaper.

Current students contributed photos from a demonstration in St. Paul asking for a cap on tuition, said Kimberly Ehrlich, student body president.

The university will maintain records of where the time capsule is so in another 100 years they’ll know where to look, Shoptaugh said.

“We’re lucky to have known it existed at all,” Shoptaugh said.


Contents of the Minnesota State Moorhead time capsule

The originals or copies of items from the 1915 time capsule are included:


  • Photos of President Frank Weld and his family
  • 1915 diploma
  • Bulletins and programs from 1914 concerts and recitals
  • 1915 commencement program
  • Minutes of the Moorhead Federated Women’s Club, 1915
  • Newspaper stories about the college and major events
New items
  • Photos and news stories from the opening of the time capsule on Aug. 17, 2010
  • Copy of The Advocate student newspaper
  • MSUM pins
  • Contracts with employee unions
  • History and photo books on Moorhead and MSUM
  • Program from the 2011 commencement ceremony
  • Athletic calendar for 2011-12
  • A portrait of the four living MSUM presidents: Szymanski, Barden, Dille and Neumaier
  • Photos of students protesting tuition increases in St. Paul
  • MSUM Viewbook from 2011-12


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