1988 time capsule to be unearthed

In spring 1988, Carolina’s senior class buried a time capsule on Polk Place to remain for 25 years. As part of this year’s Homecoming activities and the class of 1988’s reunion, the time capsule will be opened and the items inside put on display.

The campus community is invited to attend the event on Friday (Nov. 8) near South Building. UNC’s Grounds Services staff will begin digging at 1 p.m. Facilities Services staff will help open the capsule, which was enclosed in a beer keg and welded shut.

The time capsule project was spearheaded by 1988 senior Eric Chilton. He said he and others sat in the Pit to collect items from fellow students to place inside.

“I remember putting in all of my ticket stubs from concerts and football and basketball games from 1984 to 1988,” said Chilton. “And my student ID, but I hope that didn’t survive.”

He said others brought soft drink cans and newspapers and magazine covers, including coverage of the space shuttle Challenger explosion in 1986. He thinks someone wrote a letter to himself to see if he has accomplished what he dreamed of 25 years ago. Although Chilton can’t remember all of the contents, he said he just really hopes everything is intact.

To help ensure safekeeping, Chilton called a local welding company for advice on the best container to use and for help in sealing it closed. The welders suggested a beer keg, which was donated by Fowler’s, a former grocery store on West Franklin Street. A car dealership in Mt. Airy, Chilton’s hometown, donated the granite marker noting where the capsule is buried.

Chilton now lives in Greensboro and is a broadcaster and meteorologist at WFMY News 2, the CBS affiliate. As a student, he worked for the Daily Tar Heel and was the first person to wear the Rameses costume.

Chilton and Anne Davidson, 1988 senior class president, will unveil the contents of the time capsule and make brief remarks. After the event, the items will be taken to Wilson Library for display through the weekend.

By Tanya Moore, University Relations.

Published November 4, 2013.