On Wednesday, March 16, at 11:00, a time capsule placed in a Mayo Hall brick more than 70 years ago was opened in front of a large group of curious cadets in the Rizza Foyer. Donning latex gloves, Campus History Coordinator Patricia Thibodeau carefully removed the contents from a small, rusted box, revealing a 1945 edition of student newspaper The Binnacle, a copy of the day’s Vallejo Times Herald which included a photo of the class of the class of 1945, and two of the metal off-set printing plates used by the newspaper. Also included were a few 1945 pennies, a U.S. Navy Reserve dog tag, and a copy of the business card of the Mayo Hall contractor. 

Professor Lauren Hartman joined the group and wondered if the time capsule had been forgotten until now? Thibodeau clarified. “Yes and no,” she offered. “When the box was discovered during Mayo Hall renovations, research in our campus history files revealed a few news stories with photos showing the placement of the time capsule in the cornerstone of the building. So, while it was temporarily forgotten by us, the archives never forgets!” 

Time Capsule Opened Time Capsule Opened #2

As the initial crowd of cadets thinned out, more stepped up to the table, coming from a cruise 2022 meeting in Rizza auditorium. One cadet asked whether the contents could be displayed somewhere permanently. Library Dean Michele Van Hoeck let the group know there would be a campus history exhibit displayed in renovated Mayo Hall, including these records of campus life from 1945.  

In addition, there are plans to place a new time capsule in the newly renovated Mayo Hall when it is dedicated in 2023. 


Established in 1929, California State University Maritime Academy is the only degree-granting maritime academy on the West Coast. Located in Vallejo, California, the campus serves nearly 1,000 students and offers undergraduate degrees preparing students for careers in engineering, transportation, international relations, business, and global logistics. The new oceanography degree program launched in the fall of 2020. Cal Maritime also offers a master’s degree in Transportation and Engineering Management, as well as a number of extended learning programs and courses.