A group of former students from the 1992 eighth grade class at Holcomb Bridge Middle School reunited last week for a very special occasion: the opening of a 20-year-old time capsule.
Former students, now in their 30s, joined current teachers, administrators, parents and students in the Media Center to witness the rare opening of a time capsule named ‘Powaqqatsi,’ Wednesday, Oct. 10. Led by teacher Marjory Segal, the capsule was sealed on May 28, 1992 and contained artifacts selected to represent the times and demonstrate the students’ passionate commitment to creating a world where humans could coexist peacefully. Fifteen of the 90 students that assembled the time capsule returned to Holcomb Bridge for the special event, traveling from as far as Colorado and Kentucky to reunite in a show of unity and support of their school and beliefs.
"I’ve carried the invitation Mrs. Segal gave us for this event in my wallet for 20 years," said Eric Levin, one of the 1992 8th grade students. "It’s pretty amazing that we’re all here together."
The time capsule project was rooted in a Georgia history class on primary and secondary sources, inspired by the study of the book "To Kill a Mockingbird."
"With permission from our principal Vernon Alford, the class decided to create its own set of sources to tell the story of what we did and how we felt about life in the spring of 1992,” said Marjory Segal. "In a sense, we gave birth to the time capsule Powaqqatsi, a Hopi word meaning life in transition. I can’t tell you how gratified I am to be here today to see its opening."
The time capsule contained a rich assortment of artifacts, ranging from poignant examples of social injustices and concerns, including an old Georgia state flag that the students were convinced would be changed (and they were right). It also contained newspaper articles about the beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles and the announcement by Magic Johnson of his AIDS diagnosis, as well as a tape-recorded student interview with Martin Luther King III. The capsule also held light-hearted memorabilia from school activities, the latest music, fashion and to a Mickey Mouse keychain from Disney World. (For a full list of artifacts in the time capsule, see the attached PDF.)
Joy Schroerlucke, the current principal of Holcomb Bridge Middle School and host of the event, was thrilled to reunite with the 1992 team.
"As an educator, my heart is full that one of the goals set by principal Vernon Alford in 1992 has come true: We are now a Georgia School of Excellence. I am also very proud that we share the same commitment to peace and respect for the individual that was espoused by this illustrious group of students," she said.
In a show of solidarity, Student Ambassadors from the 2012 eighth grade class announced their intention to create a new time capsule at Holcomb Bridge. They presented each 1992 alumnus with a gift copy of the book, . The book, which is based on the story of the severe challenges faced by the Lost Boys of the South Sudan, inspired the students to commit to raising $10,000 with 501c3 non-profit Mothering Across Continents (MAC) towards building a new school in the country, which was ravaged during a 20-year civil war.
"We understand that you were inspired by 'To Kill a Mockingbird.' We were also inspired by literature and are proud to join with you today to stand up for peace in our world," said one current 8th grade student.
For more information about the time capsule or fundraising efforts towards Raising South Sudan, contact: Amanda Hayes, PTA Public Relations Chair, Holcomb Bridge Middle School PTA, firstname.lastname@example.org.