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Courtesy of Rosanne Wickman
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Work-Study Student Recreates Time Capsule Project

The Women’s Center is solidifying their legacy.
Elyse Bredfeldt
The time capsule.

  The Women’s Center collected items through the month of March meant to represent aspects of the lives of women in 2024. 

  The inspiration for this project came following the death of their founding director, Ruth Margolin last October. Chelsie Duckworth, the senior program coordinator at the Women’s Center said they did research on past programs to honor her contributions.

  “We were going through the archives at Miller Nichols to find anything we could about her,” Duckworth said. “We came across old programs that we used to do. We found one about a time capsule.” 

  They learned where the original capsule was located and that it was supposed to be dug up in August 2020. However, they found no record of whether it had been opened or not. 

  A work-study student at the Women’s Center, Laila Stevenson, was interested in this project and decided to do further research. 

  “She dove into finding out what happened with the time capsule,” Duckworth said. “We found all the planning information, the people that were listed as the keepers. She tracked down one of those people to find out what happened to it.” 

  Stevenson said that she searched documents for names and phone numbers. Eventually she was able to connect with someone that knew what had happened to the capsule. Prior to the burial, Stevenson said that a Coke can someone put in exploded over all the objects. 

  Duckworth emphasized how upsetting this loss was, considering some of the items that were in it. 

  “There was a police badge from the first woman police officer in Kansas City,” Duckworth said. “There were some really cool things in there, artifacts from that time that would’ve been really cool to look back on.”

  Stevenson decided to take the lead on this project for two reasons. As a work-study student, she was required to create, plan and advertise a program. But more than that, she valued what the project could mean. 

  “I decided to do a time capsule during Women’s History Month to kind of honor and show our appreciation for what they tried to do,” Stevenson said. “And we can reach the future how they tried to with us.” 

  Duckworth emphasized the significance of time capsules, as they provide tangible insight into the past. 

  “The concept of a time capsule is so timeless,” Duckworth said. “It’s so fascinating to look back. It might be nice to capture this little moment we’re in, because who knows what will happen in the next 10 or 20 years.” 

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