More than 3,500 students, faculty, staff and community members packed Western Carolina University’s Central Plaza and A.K. Hinds University Center lawn area Monday, Aug. 21, and cast their eyes skyward to get a first-hand look at the Great American Eclipse.
On Monday, Aug. 21, Western Carolina University students took a break from the first day of classes to witness history - a total solar eclipse. Classes were canceled from 1 to 3 p.m. as students, faculty and staff gathered in the center of campus to watch the phenomenon.
The celestial bodies are aligning perfectly for the Western Carolina University community to experience a memorable start to the 2017 fall semester, with the first day of classes coinciding with a once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse and anticipation rising for all-time records to be set in total enrollment and freshman enrollment.
With a total solar eclipse occurring on the first day of the fall semester classes, Western Carolina University’s faculty and staff are taking steps to help ensure that everyone has the opportunity to safely view the rare celestial phenomenon.
Enrique Gomez, associate professor of physics and astronomy at Western Carolina University, is reminding members of the public who plan to view the solar eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21, to use only certified eclipse glasses in order to prevent serious eye damage.
When the total solar eclipse darkens the skies at 2:35 p.m. on the opening day of classes for the fall 2017 semester, Western Carolina University students, faculty and staff won’t be stuck indoors casting wistful glances out the window.