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You might have noticed the small plaque in the ground near the Athletic and Convocation Center, or perhaps you’ve walked right past it for years. A time capsule, buried in 1998 to recognize Milton Academy’s bicentennial year, lay beneath the dirt, its mysteries concealed. What was inside—a news story about John Glenn’s return to space? A Goo Goo Dolls CD? A pair of Steve Madden platform slides?

This month, two of the people who were there at its placement brought it to the surface again. Steve Zannino, Milton Academy’s associate director of grounds and event planning, and Geordie Dunnington, a member of the Physical Education Department faculty, remember the school-wide celebration that included the time capsule. Steve, who dug the hole 25 years ago, said before unsealing the capsule that he had no idea what it contained.

Students and faculty at the time enclosed letters and photos, VHS tapes, school publications, mix tapes, and more to commemorate Milton’s 200th year. The capsule, composed of several sealed PVC pipes, was buried November 14, 1998.

Unfortunately, the pipes were no match for a quarter-century of harsh New England weather: The majority of the contents were destroyed by moisture and mold. Most of the items had to be discarded—what survived will eventually be reviewed (if we can track down a VCR and a tape deck!) and transferred to the school’s archives. Carefully extracting damaged materials, Steve recognized some familiar faces and names of students and faculty members, some who have moved on from Milton and others, like Steve and Geordie, who have remained important members of our community for decades.