Centennial Memory Capsule

Rather than bury a time capsule for those fifty or one hundred years from now to dig up, MTSU is assembling a "memory capsule"; that collectively will record the memories of 1000 people who have some association with MTSU: alumni, staff, retirees, current students, neighbors, and friends. And since this capsule won't be buried, the stories collected will be available from now into the future for those exploring MTSU's history.

What is the Centennial Memory Capsule?

It is based on the Story Corps idea discussed in this year's summer reading book Listening Is An Act of Love, but MTSU's version will record 500 conversations between two people. Rather than talk about anything in their lives, however, we ask the participants to share memories related to MTSU.

Who can participate?

Any two people can share their stories in a Centennial Memory Capsule recording. It is likely that the two people already know each other as co-workers, alumni friends, or family members. But some conversations may be between people who have recently met, as in a current student conversing with an alumnus or staff member about MTSU.

How do I participate?

If you already have a partner to join with you in the conversation, one of you can send an email to memory@mtsu.edu. Our facilitators will get back to you to set up an appointment. It's just that easy! Appointments are generally available Monday through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and conversations will be recorded at the Albert Gore Research Center in Todd Hall 129. However, we may schedule recording days in other locations that are convenient to alumni and local residents who do not wish to drive into campus, or who may need an appointment on Saturdays. The facilitator will try to accommodate your needs.

What can I expect?

The recording sessions are scheduled in hour-long blocks so that we can complete paperwork, take photographs, and do a short orientation before the recording begins. Recordings last 40 minutes, and a facilitator is present to record and also help get your conversation started. After the recording is over, we will burn the recording on a CD for each of the participants to take with them, and we will keep another copy for the MTSU archive. Collectively, therefore, we will assemble a "memory capsule"; of 500 or more conversations with a diverse group of people who have shared in MTSU's history.

Can I participate more than once?

Yes, as long as you have a different partner each time. We encourage multiple participation as a way to explore more topics in our history.

What if I have other questions?

Send an email to memory@mtsu.edu or phone Dr. Jim Williams at (615) 898-2633. We'll be happy to answer your questions.

Who is sponsoring this project?

This centennial project is a joint effort between the Albert Gore Research Center, which houses the MTSU archive, and the Centennial Planning Committee, which provided most of the funding.