Furman to host eclipse events (updated)

By Vince Moore, contributor:

TRAVELERS REST, S.C. —On Monday, Aug. 21, the United States will experience a total solar eclipse that extends from Oregon through South Carolina and will pass directly over the Furman University campus. If you’re planning on coming to the Eclipse@Furman, here are some things you need to know.

* Parking and admission are free.  No tickets are required.

* People are advised to enter the campus from the front gate off Poinsett Highway. Parking attendants will be on hand to assist starting at 11 a.m.

* Because Furman is expecting a large crowd, you’re welcome to arrive early and enjoy one of the most beautiful college campuses in America.

* The Paladin Stadium gates will open at 11:30 a.m.  No lawn chairs are allowed inside the stadium.

* Outside the stadium, a fair featuring Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities for both children and adults will run from noon until 1:45 p.m. The activity area includes paid concessions, special music and access to water stations. Furman will sponsor activities focused on public health, fitness, eye safety, climate science and other topics. Outside groups will provide demonstrations on robotics, 3-D printing, MakerSpace opportunities and engineering career opportunities.

* At 1:45 p.m., all participants are encouraged to find seating in the stadium (seating access will begin at 1:15 p.m.). The formal eclipse program will begin at 2 p.m. when Furman Physics Professor and faculty astronomer David Moffett narrates the guided discussion.

* Total eclipse will occur at approximately 2:38 p.m. 

* Viewing glasses are free and will be will be available at the stadium entrance as long as supplies last, with distribution beginning at noon. One pair per person, and you must be present to pick up your glasses. If you have your own viewing glasses, you are advised to bring them.

* Restrooms (including handicap accessible) will be available inside and outside the stadium.

* No pets are allowed in the stadium or activity areas, but service animals are welcome.

* There will be security checks at the Paladin Stadium gates.

* What to bring: comfortable clothing, sunscreen, water bottle. Free souvenir cups will be available while supplies last. There will be water stations at the event and bottled water will be sold at concessions.

* What not to bring: weapons (this includes weapons accompanied by a valid CWP permit), alcoholic beverages, backpacks, large bags, coolers, aerosol cans, laser light pointers, bottles. Prohibited items discovered during security inspections must either be returned to their vehicle or discarded; they will not be held for later pick-up.

* Formal programming for the event ends at 3 p.m.

* A campus map of Furman is available online here.


Original story:

TRAVELERS REST, S.C. — Because it’s been 99 years since the last one and there won’t be another one for the rest of the century, Furman University is treating the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21 as the remarkable event it promises to be.

The university will host a variety of public events on campus the day of the eclipse, including a guided viewing presentation in 16,000-seat Paladin Stadium, as the first total solar eclipse since 1918 sweeps across the continental United States from the Pacific to the Atlantic and passes through South Carolina in what astronomers are calling the “Great American Eclipse.”

All of the events for “Eclipse@Furman” are free and open to the public.

At approximately 2:38 p.m. local time on Aug. 21, the total solar eclipse will cross a diagonal line extending from Salem, Ore., through Charleston, S.C., and in so doing pass directly over the Furman campus.

“The eclipse will leave us in twilight for over two minutes with only the sun’s outer corona visible to the eye,” said John Wheeler, associate provost for integrative science and professor of chemistry at Furman.  “Indeed, for over 100 million people residing on the eastern seaboard, South Carolina will be the closest viewing point to enjoy this momentous event.”

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The university will provide special glasses to everyone in attendance to ensure a safe viewing experience, and Furman Physics Professor David Moffett will narrate the guided discussion in Paladin Stadium as the eclipse unfolds between 2 and 2:45 p.m.  In addition to the formal presentation, an eclipse “festival” will be held at the Paladin Stadium entrance between noon and 2 p.m., including thematic activities, concessions, special music, free Furman cups and access to water stations.

The university is placing special emphasis on engaging K-12 students and families as part of a community-wide program, including working with Greenville County Schools and local community centers to enhance participation.

Furman will provide information about the event throughout the summer, and the university has created a website, Eclipse@Furman, at

In the event of inclement weather on Aug. 21, the public celebration will be moved to Bon Secours Wellness Arena in downtown Greenville, which will feature live-streaming from NASA.


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