that a total solar eclipse will occur in the skies over Western Carolina University during the afternoon of Aug. 21, 2017, which also happens to be the first day of classes? This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience (the next total solar eclipse won’t occur in the Cullowhee area for another 136 years).
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In addition to the thousands of students returning to campus for the fall semester, the potential exists for thousands of other eclipse-viewers to converge on the Cullowhee area, which is being promoted as one of the best places to see the eclipse.
The university is making plans for students and other members of the campus community to witness this phenomenon safely. Classes will not meet between 1 and 3 p.m. Aug. 21. Those staff members who are able to be away from their desks or duty stations will be allowed to step outside to observe the eclipse; the university will make available special solar viewing glasses for faculty, staff and students. Unfortunately, the eclipse will be occurring at perhaps the worst possible time on WCU’s calendar – the opening days of a new academic year. Parking will be at a premium, and the university will not be holding activities that are open to the general public.
We hope that visitors will take advantage of the many opportunities throughout Jackson County to witness the eclipse. Our friends in the travel and tourism industry are hard at work marketing this event, and they are planning a full weekend of activities leading up to the solar eclipse. Find out more at Jackson County's Total Solar Eclipse website.
What you should know about Eclipse/Move-in weekend