I hope that everyone is enjoying the nice fall weather that was on tremendous display during the D'Amore-McKim Time Capsule Reveal event on Krentzman Quad on Oct. 18. The energy and enthusiasm coming from our students, faculty, and staff at the event were awe-inspiring.  Everyone watched the 30-minute presentation of the opening with attention and anticipation.  Thanks to former Senior Associate Deans and Professors Bill Crittenden, who provided significant entertainment value, and Margie Platt for their participation and historical commentary. Thanks also to Associate Dean for Graduate Programs Kate Klepper for her historical color commentary and to students Chrispen Chokureva, Jr. and Angelica Slater for helping on the stage. I also want to sincerely thank the D'Amore-McKim 100 Implementation Team for their hard work organizing a fun day.

And thank you to everyone who came out and those across our network who watched the livestream. Students in Boston celebrated for over two hours and lined up for cotton candy, popcorn, and to spin one of our prize wheels. (I hope to see many D'Amore-McKim 100 t-shirts around campus now!) I had mentioned that I worked making cotton candy many years ago as a teenager, so they put me to work at one of the machines. After some much-appreciated tutoring from one of the experts, it came back to me, and I was spinning cotton candy for our students. It was great to rekindle this skill and have it in my arsenal in case I need it when my day job ends.

Dean Trahan learning how to make cotton candy

So now we know what is in the time capsule that was sealed behind a wall in the lobby of Dodge Hall. It was created in celebration of the significant renovation of the old library into a state-of-the-art business school building, with a plan to open the capsule on the 100th Anniversary year of the business school. I was here on the faculty in 1993, and I remember the event when Dean David Boyd led the ceremony to encase the capsule. David was instrumental in securing the plan and funding for the renovation of Dodge Hall and inspired great pride in the faculty and staff around this significant achievement. Pulling items from the capsule had real meaning for me because the items show how far we have come, how far I have come, and they made me think about where we are going. 

Examples that made me smile and think in admiration include a letter written in the spring of 1993 from David to those opening the capsule in 2022, a poem that David wrote to commemorate the event, and journal entries by Jay Halfond, an Associate Dean, and Evy Keefe, who ran the Dean's Office and whom I considered to be the mother of the business school. The journal entries express the pride and opportunity of what Dodge Hall meant to the university and the business school. All these items were read at the event and engendered great pride and emotion from those of us here with David, Jay, and Evy.

There are many other notable items in the time capsule. In addition to the reflections noted above, there were pictures of the renovation and some of our faculty and staff in 1993.  Having Dodge Hall – a state-of-the-art business classroom building featuring modern case-discussion-style classrooms and the latest technology – was pivotal to supporting the rapid upward trajectory of Northeastern and the business school over the ensuing 30 years. I should note that, while Dodge has undergone further updates and needs continuing attention to remain state-of-the-art, the faculty and staff from 1993 who are still with us have only continued to improve with age. 

An item of particular interest was the still-in-package Sony Walkman cassette player.  Interestingly, our students, Chrispen and Angelica, did not seem to have a clue what it was, but Kate regaled us with memories of her very own pink Walkman. Our students also did not seem to have much knowledge of floppy disks or VHS tapes, but those of us around in 1993 recalled them fondly, bid them good riddance, and now appreciate the technology of today and the future. Our accounting faculty in 1993 provided some accounting humor by placing a jar of beans in the capsule. Not everyone got the significance, but as someone who started as an accountant, I knew that it pointed out that many referred to us as “bean counters.” Of course, that has changed over 30 years, and accountants are now well-recognized as business strategists who use modern business analytics. There was a jersey from the old business school softball team, the Burnouts. I was a hockey player, but Bill played on the team, and we think it was his jersey. The time capsule is rounded out by a virtual library of books, program brochures, and journal articles.  Comparing these to where we are today shows very clearly how far we have advanced since 1993.

All in all, this was an emotional and inspirational event. At Northeastern and D'Amore-McKim, we are always focused on the future. This event allowed us to reflect on our past, see where past initiatives have taken us, and think about where we will go in the next 100 years. It was tremendous to be part of a stage party that included faculty and staff here in 1993 and students who represent our future. We witnessed similar energy in the crowd where faculty and staff from over the years mingled with our current undergraduate and graduate students.

Items in the time capsule will be on display throughout the year. In January, we will start the work of creating a new time capsule, with the help of our community, to be sealed in Dodge Hall for opening on the 150th anniversary of the D'Amore-McKim School of Business.

Thank you for the memories, and here's to our future!


Emery Trahan
Interim Dean
D'Amore-McKim School of Business