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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

UF Class of 1995 time capsule opened, alumni reminisce

<p>Tony Medina (left), president of the UF Association of Hispanic Alumni, announces Saturday morning the contents of a time capsule buried in 1996 by the UF Class of 1995. Bruce Floyd (far right), social media manager for the University of Florida Athletic Association and member of the Class of 1995, holds a copy of the 1996-1997 undergraduate catalogue, while Dan Clarke, 43, also a member of the Class of 1995, looks on.</p>

Tony Medina (left), president of the UF Association of Hispanic Alumni, announces Saturday morning the contents of a time capsule buried in 1996 by the UF Class of 1995. Bruce Floyd (far right), social media manager for the University of Florida Athletic Association and member of the Class of 1995, holds a copy of the 1996-1997 undergraduate catalogue, while Dan Clarke, 43, also a member of the Class of 1995, looks on.

Albert and Alberta silently cheered by the weathered metal box decorated with a sparkly orange-and-blue bow.

The UF Class of 1995’s time capsule sat in the shade of the Orange and Blue Tailgate tent at Emerson Alumni Hall. A few fans gathered around the Gator-blue table it sat on, and other attendees chatted over tea and chardonnay.

At about 11 a.m. Saturday, UF 1995 alumnus Tony Medina announced the box would be opened for the first time since it was sealed into the brick of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in 1996.

The contents were unveiled with the help of alumni Bruce Floyd and Dan Clark. They said they didn’t know who created the capsule and weren’t involved with it themselves.

Among Gator egg candies, a commencement program and Gator memorabilia were newspapers: the Gainesville Sun, the Alligator and USA Today. While its plaque reads that it was installed in April 1996, the issue of the Sun in the capsule was dated Aug. 20, 1996.

“I expected to see some football schedules, that sort of thing,” said Medina, the president of the UF Association of Hispanic Alumni.

Although the sports programs were interesting, he said he particularly liked seeing what campus looked like almost 20 years ago.

“I think seeing the campus maps has been really interesting to see how the school has grown,” Medina said.

The school has changed since he got his bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1995, he added.

“As I walk around campus (today), there’s cranes on every corner,” he said.

Clark, who graduated in 1995 with a degree in telecommunication, had his own idea about what he wished came out of the capsule.

“They should’ve put a floppy disk in there,” he said.

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He said people don’t know what floppy disks are anymore. This is funny to him because the metal and plastic squares that were used to save files in the past are now on most word processors as the save button.

He said he did like that the capsule’s contributors added some paper products that categorized the era.

“I think one of the funniest things is the drop/add bubble sheets,” he said.

The time capsule’s plaque was removed from the brick and placed in front of the capsule’s stage. It will no longer notify football fanatics and students of the capsule’s existence.

Stephanie Pope, a UF animal sciences senior, said she liked seeing the history inside the time capsule but thinks it would be difficult to decide what to add to one today.

“We don’t have too many paper products,” the 24-year-old said.

Pope said she might add an iPhone or iconic sports poster to the box.

“It’s hard to think about (what you’d put inside) because you’re living in this time,” she said.  “Everything’s just there.”

What would you put in a time capsule? Readers answer:

 

[A version of this story ran on page 1 - 9 on 4/13/2015]

Tony Medina (left), president of the UF Association of Hispanic Alumni, announces Saturday morning the contents of a time capsule buried in 1996 by the UF Class of 1995. Bruce Floyd (far right), social media manager for the University of Florida Athletic Association and member of the Class of 1995, holds a copy of the 1996-1997 undergraduate catalogue, while Dan Clarke, 43, also a member of the Class of 1995, looks on.

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