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Capital Region News

UAlbany Marks 175th Birthday By Opening Time Capsule From 1964

The University at Albany marked its 175th birthday on Tuesday by opening a time capsule from 1964.  

UAlbany's uptown campus opened in 1964 along with new dormitories. Edward Durrell Stone’s futuristic design inspired urban legends that the campus was originally intended to be built in distant India or Saudi Arabia.

A time capsule was placed in a cornerstone of the Dutch Quad dormitory complex. 

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Credit UAlbany
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Brian Fessler, past president of the Alumni Association, describes the contents.   "The time capsule was created by the first students ever to live on the uptown campus, and sealed in the cornerstone of Dutch Quad, their new home. The items include a custom sweatshirt, with a note explaining the unique design. The Campus Viewpoint booklet, school bulletins, and a note from the Dutch Quad students to future generations of UAlbany students."

More than half a century later, the school is three campuses strong with 180,000 alumni spanning the globe.
The 175th anniversary celebration began Tuesday morning at Draper Hall on the original downtown SUNY campus where Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan proclaimed it "University at Albany Day."

Later at the uptown campus, UAlbany President Havidán Rodríguez joined with senior leadership, faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members at the official opening of the time capsule.   "On May 7th, 1844, the New York State Legislature voted to create the New York Normal School, and the rest, as they say, it's history! Actually, 175 years worth of it, right? And so.. there you go! C'mon!"

That was followed by a birthday party. 

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Credit UAlbany
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Rodríguez helped blow out the candles on the party cake. Rodríguez said he is optimistic about the campus’ future.    "We remain committed to inspire the aspiring. To create a climate where diverse voices thrive. And to support the great minds, to lead the charge, challenge convention, and turn possibilities into promise."

Sophomore Juying Yang from Taiwan is excited to be part of "Albany history."   "It's good promotion to my family and to friends to say Albany's already 175 years and proud of to be part of the U of Albany students."

Graduate student Bradley Hershenson is with the College of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity and Emergency Preparedness.  "We're proud to be students at an R1 research institution, and it really means a lot to be here."

         Dave Lucas: "What do you think of this time capsule?"

"I think it's really great! You know, this is stuff that's indicative of academic success from a long time ago and it's really important for us to look at where we came from and see where we are."

An exhibit honoring UAlbany’s impact on the education of New Yorkers is open inside the Legislative Office Building public entrance through May 13th, showcasing images of alumni through the years and current students.

"Letter from time capsule" uploaded by R Karlin.

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