Got a quarter? Looking for gems for the 2014 time capsule

Upstate President Carlyle Jacobsen, PhD (1902-1974) and an unidentified man place a time capsule in the cornerstone of Upstate’s downtown campus hospital, 1963.

Upstate President Carlyle Jacobsen, PhD (1902-1974) and an unidentified man place a time capsule in the cornerstone of Upstate’s downtown campus hospital, 1963.

Upstate is collecting items and suggestions for our 50th anniversary time capsule and, thanks to a recent discovery, we know what’s buried inside the time capsule pictured above. There are lots of papers (budget proposals, staff lists, course catalogs, route maps, etc.); photos of the hospital’s construction and ground breaking; architect’s renderings; and one curious item:  “Dr. J. Howard Ferguson’s Good Luck Quarter.”

J. Howard Ferguson MD, former owner of the mystery coin

J. Howard Ferguson MD, former owner of the mystery coin

There is no photo of the coin, and no explanation of its significance. But we know who the owner was, thanks to Eric v.d. Luft’s book, “A Pictorial History of SUNY Upstate Medical University.”  John Howard Ferguson MD (1902-1978) was a 1926 graduate of our College of Medicine, and chairman of Pathology from 1942 until 1969. The list of time-capsule contents describes his quarter as lucky “the third time around.”

Do you, or someone you know, remember the coin, Dr. Ferguson and/or Upstate in 1960s? If you do, please contact the anniversary committee through keeters@upstate.edu or 315-464-4834.

When you contact us, you’ll be joining many others offering remembrances of Upstate and ideas for artifacts that signify healthcare in 2014:

“Healthcare in 2014 can be represented by nurses!” writes retiree Phillip Benton, RN.

“I have a photo showing the site where the hospital sits prior to it being built. It’s been hanging in my office since I got here 26+ years ago,” writes Penny McPhilmy, biochemistry.

“When I was in nursing school my aunt and uncle encouraged me to look for a job here at Upstate and since my senior year in college I have worked here. Uncle Chuck has always been so proud of Upstate,” writes Kelly Winchell, MSN, PNP, otolaryngology.

“The up-to-date electronic library” represents healthcare in 2014, writes retired librarian Peter Uva. Can we assume that Uva also believes that Upstate’s new MyChart electronic patient record system is a good representation of today’s healthcare?

Through a questionnaire response, we’ve even learned of a 50+ year Upstate love story, shared by a happily married doctor from the Class of 1963.

You can read his story in a future blog.

Suggestion boxes are in the hospital lobbies, downtown and community.

Suggestion boxes are in the hospital lobbies, downtown and community.

In the meantime, please stop by one of the hospital lobbies, fill out a questionnaire and drop it in the suggestion box. Thank you!

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About susankeeter

Occasional contributor Upstate’s Susan Keeter has written about and painted Upstate’s Dr. Sarah Loguen, one of the first African American women physicians. Keeter created the horse sculpture in front of the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital and illustrated a children’s book on autism, “Waiting for Benjamin.” She’s written for Physician Practice, Upstate Alumni Journal and Outlook magazines. Reach her by email at keeters@upstate.edu or by phone at 315-464-4834.
This entry was posted in community, education, entertainment, health care, history, hospital, medical student, nursing, research, volunteers. Bookmark the permalink.

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