SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 6, 2010 — Drury President Todd Parnell joked today that he and the time capsule pulled out of Turner Hall are the same age: 62 years old. After examining the contents of the box today, it’s clear that President Parnell is in better shape.
Using a small, electric saw and some snips, Drury’s Red Richmond, director of facilities services, cut open the copper box, and Drury Archivist Bill Garvin pulled out mildewed contents of the container to reveal:
“This is a testament to the optimism of the people who placed this time capsule 62 years and 14 days ago, that they were confident that Drury University would be around today,” Garvin said.
The time capsule was pulled out of the cornerstone of Turner in December 2009. The existence of the time capsule wasn’t a surprise, but no one knew what was in it until today.
Turner and Belle Halls, long vacant, were torn down during Christmas Break. Following today’s time capsule opening, Director of Campus Sustainability Wendy Anderson unveiled plans for a green space to be built where the two buildings once stood. The plans include walking paths, a recreation area, benches and shading structures. Construction is scheduled to begin over the summer months.
Built in 1948, Turner was a residence hall that became vacant after the construction of new housing on campus. Turner last housed students in the spring of 2005. The driving force behind the construction of Turner was a Drury Board of Trustees member named Lyman Turner. He was not a Drury graduate, but he was a proponent of the liberal arts and called for Drury to admit African-American students in 1945, nine years before the Supreme Court’s Brown vs. the Board of Education ruling. Drury President Todd Parnell lived in Turner, then called New Men’s Dorm, in 1965. His son Ben lived in the facility in 2000.
Belle Hall was built in 1947 as a housing and dining facility. In later years, the building served as a library annex and was home to the education department. Belle Hall was permanently closed in 2005.
Drury is an independent University, church related, grounded in the liberal arts tradition and committed to personalized education in a community of scholars who value the arts of teaching and learning. Education at Drury seeks to cultivate spiritual sensibilities and imaginative faculties as well as ethical insight and critical thought; to foster the integration of theoretical and practical knowledge; and to liberate persons to participate responsibly in and contribute to a global community. For more information, visit www.drury.edu/strategicplan.
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