Georgia Perimeter College to seal time capsule

06/10/2005
Contact: Barbara Obrentz
Phone: 678-891-2685
Fax: 404-244-5782
Author: Barbara Obrentz

Georgia Perimeter College will close its yearlong 40th anniversary celebration by sealing a time capsule intended for future GPC students, faculty and staff to open in the year 2045.

Ms. Xernona Clayton, creator and executive producer of the Trumpet Awards and corporate consultant for Turner Broadcasting System, will emcee the event, which also honors WSB-TV news anchor John Pruitt, who is celebrating his 40th anniversary covering the news for Atlanta. The observance will take place at 10:00 a.m., June 16 in the Jim Cherry Learning Resources Center on GPC’s Clarkston campus.

“Forty years is a milestone. We’ve commemorated it all year, and now we want to archive it in a time capsule,” says Dr. Jacquelyn M. Belcher, president of GPC.

Special guest of honor for the dedication of the time capsule will be WSB-TV news anchor John Pruitt, who is celebrating his 40th anniversary covering the news for Atlanta.

"We are excited about having Mr. Pruitt help dedicate our time capsule, and we want to honor him for forty great years,” Belcher says.

The time capsule will hold memorabilia from the college and artifacts representing American culture over the past four decades. According to Dr. Paul Hudson, a GPC history professor and renowned time capsule scholar, the time capsule is intended to serve as a gift to the GPC generation of 2045.

Time capsules help write us into history,” says Hudson, “and, as we conclude our 40th anniversary celebration, we want to make a good faith effort to provide an independent voice to the future.”

The college 40th anniversary committee tapped Hudson to coordinate the project. A founding member of the International Time Capsule Society when he taught at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Hudson has lectured extensively on the subject. He has dedicated time capsules at events as diverse as the Tennessee Bicentennial; Millennium Philadelphia; the Cultural Capital of Europe Celebration in Copenhagen, Denmark and the 40th anniversary of the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, Thailand.

Hudson in 1991 helped circulate the “Ten Most Wanted Time Capsules,” an intriguing list of mostly buried projects that were lost or stolen. The list was widely reprinted in national and international media.

For GPC’s time capsule, Hudson suggested that the vessel be an imposing fireproof gun safe, painted maroon, one of the college colors. A plaque will bear a message to posterity, and the time capsule will be secured by the college architect in the atrium of the Jim Cherry Learning Resources Center, near a portrait of Cherry. Hudson plans to initiate a ceremonial student inspection of it every year with the hope that over the course of decades the time capsule will become an “urban legend” at the commuter school.

“There’s no way this time capsule will ever be lost,” Hudson says.

Georgia Perimeter College began its 40th anniversary celebration with a colorful butterfly release last fall and celebrated throughout the academic year with events at its various campuses. The time capsule dedication at 10:00 a.m. on June 16 will draw the celebration to an official close.

The college, founded as DeKalb College primarily through the efforts of educational innovator Dr. Jim Cherry, opened its doors at the Clarkston campus in fall 1964. With a relatively short but dynamic history, GPC has grown into the state’s third-largest college and largest two-year college.

GPC offers classes at four campuses and two centers and plans to expand into Newton County in 2007. It enrolls more than 22,000 credit and noncredit students.

Hudson notes that the college started soon after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 became law, when Beatlemania was the rage, and now reflects Atlanta’s growth with a diverse and rapidly growing student population.

The time capsule ceremony is free and open to the public. The Clarkston campus is located at 555 North Indian Creek Drive. For more information call (678) 891-2685.

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For further information including press kits, contact Barbara Obrentz at Georgia Perimeter College Office of Marketing and Public Relations at (678) 891-2685 or (678) 891-2680.

For media interviews with Dr. Paul Hudson, Social Science Department Chair, Georgia Perimeter College Clarkston Campus, call 404-299-4172 or email phudson@gpc.edu.

Related Web Sites

For institutional history, visit: www.gpc.edu (Click on About GPC)
For background on Time Capsules in Georgia, visit: www.georgiaencyclopedia.org
New Georgia Encyclopedia
For more on the International Time Capsule Society, visit: www.oglethorpe.edu/itcs/
For more on the GPC 40th anniversary celebration, visit: www.gpc.edu
(Click on 40th Anniversary icon)

For more information on John Pruitt, visit: www.wsbtv.com/station (Click on John Pruitt)

Georgia Perimeter College, the third largest institution in the University System of Georgia, serves more than 22,000 credit and noncredit students through six locations in metro Atlanta. For additional information, visit www.gpc.edu.