A peek into the past - and future - of TU’s College of Law - The University of Tulsa
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A peek into the past – and future – of TU’s College of Law

A beautifully inscribed wooden chest has sat dormant in The University of Tulsa’s College of Law for 25 years, waiting to be cracked open in 2024. On April 2, it was time to unlock that time capsule. TU Law students, faculty, and staff crowded into The Pit to finally uncover the treasures that were packed away for them decades ago, before many of the current students were born.

College of Law Dean Oren Griffin read notes from the students of 1999 aloud, which included law school memories and predictions for the future. “Students will be able to take exams electronically” was one of the predictions.

What else did the students include in the time capsule?

  • A 5-foot-tall cardboard cutout of Prince
  • A miniature marble statue of the Kendall Bell
  • A flag of the Cherokee Nation
  • A dreamcatcher with a note that read: “I wish that a Native American might be appointed to the Supreme Court before 2024.”
  • A letter from Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmonson, including a copy of the historic Master Settlement Agreement between the tobacco industry and the states that sued the four largest tobacco companies in the United States
  • Photos of student groups and staff members

Taylor Williams is a third-year law student and president of TU’s Student Bar Association. She helped curate the content for the 2024 time capsule that will be opened by students in 2049.

“I think that our history is so important, both as law students and as people,” she explained. “Knowing what happened before you were here is vital to your success. And it’s just cool. It’s exciting for people to see what was going on 25 years ago.”

Williams listed some of the items that current TU law students wanted to include in their capsule:

  • Copies of the Tulsa World and Wall Street Journal from April 2, 2024
  • A red envelope with money inside, symbolizing good luck, from TU’s Asian Law Society
  • Photos and letters from various law student organizations
  • A TU College of Law facemask to remember the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The latest Tulsa Law Review and @utulsa magazine
  • A Bible from the Christian Legal Society
  • A miniature Statue of Liberty
  • A copy of TIME magazine with Taylor Swift on the cover
  • A Kansas City Chiefs felt pennant

Back in 1999, the original time capsule was created to celebrate the construction of the Mabee Legal Information Center, the law school’s library. To this day, it’s still a favorite place for students to study on campus.