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Messages to our future selves

Faculty, staff and students

To close out our Centennial year, the UNC Kenan-Flagler community celebrated the School’s legacy and what’s next by dedicating a time capsule on Dec. 5.

The time capsule was buried in the courtyard in front of Koury Auditorium and will be re-opened in 2044.

Time capsule with Kenan-Flagler memorabiliaSo what’s inside the time capsule? Dean Doug Shackelford (BSBA ’80) and a student from every academic program wrote letters to the School’s future community for the time capsule. Among the other items included are:

  • A history of the School’s first 100 years, “UNC Kenan-Flagler: A Century of Tradition and Innovation,” signed by author Lee Pace (AB ’79)
  • A copy of remarks from Congressman David Price recognizing the 100th anniversary of the Business School read into the Congressional Record
  • A biography of Frank Hawkins Kenan and a photo of the Kenan Center under construction
  • An autograph book signed by students, faculty and staff with messages to the future community
  • 5 editions of The Daily Tar Heel, The News & Observer, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal
  • A stuffed-toy Rameses
  • An earlier MBA time capsule
  • A women’s soccer ball signed by Anson Dorrance, head coach
  • UNC Kenan-Flagler swag items (including Business Cares socks) and a “Beat Duke” spirit bin

The following are excerpts from the students’ letters:

Graeme Strickland speaking with Dean Shackleford in Koury auditorium

Graeme Strickland with Dean Shackleford.

Graeme Strickland (BSBA ’20): “The time you will have here is temporary, but your experiences will shape who you are as a person. Reflecting on my work in the Pride Club and our Inclusion board, I know that while these organizations here will ebb and flow, the impact I have made will not. Throughout my global experiences, working in Hong Kong and studying in the West Bank, I know that these two places will fundamentally change – however, what I learned there will not. Furthermore, the relationships I’ve built inside the walls of the McColl Building have contributed to my personal and professional development, and while our intimate time here will come to an end, our relationships will not. As I know these experiences will continue to have a profound impact on who I am, I urge you to think, what experiences will you pursue while here that you’ll appreciate 25 years from now?”

Mario Santiago (MAC ’20): “Before passing away, my grandfather ingrained in me a very important message: ‘People can take away your job, but no one can take away your education.’  With this in mind, obtaining a graduate degree has always been one of my professional goals. As I approach the midway point in the Master of Accounting program, I have had time to reflect on the amazing opportunities Kenan-Flagler Business School has offered me. In the MAC program, I have been able to network with professionals in top accounting firms, make a positive impact in my community, and establish meaningful connections with my classmates and MAC staff. …  If I were to give one piece of advice to future students, it would be to always seek help from others. Make time to talk to your professors about your interests, schedule a meeting with MAC staff to discuss your career aspirations, and find ways to become involved with other students in your class. Doing these things will provide you with the support and resources you need to succeed and be happy in the program.”

James Richardson (MBA ’20): “You see, Kenan-Flagler is a special place. It has achieved this designation over the past 100 years because of the strength and fidelity of our community – our most prestigious core value. If you asked any student why they chose Kenan-Flagler, you would hear a chorus of answers that touched on our friendly, collaborative, and welcoming community. Our students are helpful even in situations where others would be competitive. … This unique culture can only be found at select institutions that understand our community is better when we care for one another. … When I return for the reopening of this time capsule in 25 years, I hope to find our community more diverse and stronger than ever. I’m proud of who we are today, but I’m even more excited to see who we will become tomorrow.”

Ayana Yunge (PhD candidate): “It’s become abundantly clear to me that a lot of people outside our field of academia have no clue what we do. And quite frankly, it’s sometimes hard to explain. We take two to three years of classes and then spend another two to three years doing what? Reading? Writing? All the while, hoping that whatever we’re currently doing is going to make a difference in the long run because who we aim to be isn’t possible if we’re not making progress on what we’re doing now. … What this has highlighted for me though is that the relationships we have with others in our field become extremely important because they are the ones who do understand what we’re going through. The relationships I have developed at Kenan-Flagler are, and I hope remain to be in 25 years, invaluable. … my peers, colleagues, and advisors, have become my friends, confidants, and mentors. My energy. My support system. Specifically, I believe that our PhD student group has laid a foundation for students to be themselves, feel included, and connect– because even though we have our unique experiences, we all understand the feat of the PhD. I hope this foundation will remain strong where you stand today.”

Dean Douglas Shackleford with crowd at Kenan-Flagler time capsule dedicationIn a message to the UNC Kenan-Flagler Quasicentennial dean, Shackelford wrote: “It has been my honor to serve as dean of our business school during it’s Centennial.  This year we recognized our past but mostly focused on the opportunities for even greater impact in the future. During our Centennial Gala in April, I told a packed house on the floor of the Smith Center, ‘Tonight, we gather to thank the many who came before us and commit ourselves to making UNC Kenan-Flagler the best business school of the 21st century.’ Nearing the mid-century, you are well-positioned to evaluate our progress.”