Champaign residents and public officials write 'letters to the future'

Champaign residents and public officials write 'letters to the future'

The city is nearing the end of its 150th anniversary celebration, and the year-long program of events will end soon with the dedication of a time capsule to be opened in 2060 (the city's 200th anniversary).

Buried with that time capsule will be a selection of letters from Champaign residents. Those letters detail the residents' perceptions of the city today or their hopes for Champaign's future.

I thought it would be interesting to see what was on the minds of former or current elected officials. Here are a few links, which will take you to PDFs of the authors' letters:

The deadline has technically passed to submit a letter to the future to the city for inclusion in the time capsule, but project organizers tell me they are still looking for some. Here are the details:

Imagine the surprise of Champaign residents opening up a time capsule in 2060 and finding a letter from you amongst the artifacts! Through “Letters to the Future: 2060” and as one final grand salute to Champaign’s Sesquicentennial, the Champaign 150th Committee invites all to share personal reflections of life in Champaign as well as hopes and dreams for the next 50 years to come.

All who love Champaign are invited to provide a letter directed to residents living in Champaign in the year 2060. Content of the letters should center around one of three focus points:

  • Personal or family ties to Champaign
  • A description of life in Champaign today
  • Hopes or dreams for Champaign’s future

The Champaign 150th Executive Committee will select 150 descriptive letters from the community. These letters will then be recognized in several ways:

  • Posted on the Champaign 150th website
  • Included in the 150th Anniversary time capsule
  • Displayed, with a selection of letters read by the authors, during the Champaign 150th Legacy Dedication Ceremony

Citizens of all ages are encouraged to participate! Go to or call 217-403-8710 to learn more about this project.

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