Custody of Centennial Time Capsule Transferred to The Texas Collection

February 9, 2024
Family members of Catherine Collins, Baylor Class of 1945, Baylor student government officers and Texas Collection representatives stand behind the Centennial Time Capsule box.

Family members of Catherine Collins, Baylor Class of 1945, joined with Baylor Student Government leaders and Texas Collection representatives to entrust the care of the Centennial Time Capsule to The Texas Collection until it can be moved to its new prominent location on Traditions Plaza. (Matthew Minard/Baylor University)

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WACO, Texas (Feb. 9, 2024) – With construction set to begin this summer on the Memorial to Enslaved Persons, Baylor University held a symbolic ceremony today on Founders Mall to transfer custody of its Centennial Time Capsule from the Class of 1945 to The Texas Collection at Baylor.

The time capsule will be safely stored – unopened – in a climate-controlled space at The Texas Collection in Carroll Library, until its new prominent location is ready on Traditions Plaza, near the Immortal Ten statue and Carroll Field arch. The Centennial Time Capsule Monument that stood over the time capsule on Founders Mall also has been moved to a secure storage facility until the new site is fully prepared.

(L to R) - Jeff Pirtle, director of The Texas Collection, Mark Collins, Laura (Collins) Bower, Les Collins and Elizabeth Rivera, University Archivist. (Matthew Minard/Baylor University)

Today’s ceremony included 15 family members of Catherine Collins, a graduate of the Baylor Class of 1945, including her three children: Les Collins, Class of 1972, Baylor Med, Class of 1975; Laura (Collins) Bower, Class of 1975; and Mark Collins, Class of 1978, Baylor Law Class of 1978. Together, the Collins Family represented the group of students who put the capsule together nearly 80 years ago.

Kevin P. Jackson, Ph.D., vice president for student life, led the ceremony. Additional participants included Student Body President Nick Madincea, Executive Vice President Lilly Davis and Senior Class President Collin Bass; Jeff Pirtle, director of The Texas Collection, and Elizabeth Rivera, University Archivist; and representatives from K4 Construction, who carefully uncovered the unopened time capsule box in anticipation of the ceremony.

Three Collins Family members lift a large metal box - known as the Centennial Time Capsule at Baylor University - transferring it to a table for The Texas Collection.
(L to R) - Representing their mother and the Baylor Class of 1945, Les Collins, Laura (Collins) Bower and Mark Collins transfer the custody of the Centennial Time Capsule to The Texas Collection. (Matthew Minard/Baylor University)

During the chain of custody ceremony, Jackson invited the contingent of Collins Family members – eight of whom are Baylor graduates – to entrust the capsule to the care of The Texas Collection. The time capsule will later be re-installed on Traditions Plaza with updated information and markers, ensuring all members of the Baylor community understand its significance to the University.

“Because of the importance of the time capsule to Baylor’s history, the University administration wanted to ensure this temporary move was properly carried out and witnessed,” Jackson said. “ We are looking forward to dedicating the Memorial to Enslaved Persons next year and to seeing the time capsule in its new – more visible – home on Traditions Plaza.”

The Centennial Time Capsule was buried in 1945 beneath the Centennial Time Capsule Monument, and it is believed to contain a copy of the Round-Up yearbook, copies of the Lariat newspaper, course catalogs, pictures, letters and recordings from the 1944-45 academic year, among other items. The monument was erected on May 26, 1945, on what is now Founders Mall to coincide with commencement ceremonies during Baylor University’s centennial celebration. 

Baylor University was chartered by the Republic of Texas on Feb. 1, 1845, and the time capsule will be opened for the first time in 2045 for the University's 200th birthday.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.