CIU Celebrates Solar Eclipse

August 22, 2017

By Michael A. Lanier

CIU Student Writer

The beginning of the new school year at Columbia International University was marked like no other in the nearly 100-year history of the school. The first day of classes were moved back one day so the CIU family could take in a total solar eclipse.

Columbia, South Carolina was the largest city on the East Coast to observe the totality of the eclipse. So, the Student Life Office organized an eclipse watch party on Sessions Soccer Field. The student body, faculty and staff gathered for a time of fun and fellowship while waiting for the sun to go dark.

“It was really cool that we got to watch the eclipse here at CIU, as a community,” said graduate student Nathan Leung.

Those with special eclipse viewing glasses were able to see more and more of the sun being blocked by the moon. Excitement built as the heat of the sun died down, and the light of day began to fade more quickly.

“It's crazy to think that this won't happen again in many of our lifetimes,” said freshman Willson Baer.

In the final moments, as darkness was falling, there was much excited murmuring from the crowd on the field. Clouds in the distance turned orange, stars came out, and the clouds around the sun began to reflect an odd rainbow hue. Then, as these things were coming to a climax, the moon completely covered the sun, and nothing was left to see except for a ring around the moon. There were shouts and exclamations of amazement, as eyes focused upward, watching the incredible phenomenon being played out.

“That was the most amazing thing I've ever seen in my life,” said sophomore Sarah Causey.

As the moon began to move away again, the great light of the sun peaked through the other side, resembling a sparkle on a diamond ring. Strange shadows on the ground were chased away by the light, and the colors that had faded into darkness became bright and vivid again. Those gathered on the field were left in awe, realizing that they may never see another eclipse like this one again.

“It's a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I'm so glad I got to see it,” said sophomore Eva VonArmentrout.

As the crowd slowly disbursed, a popular song from the 1960s played over the public address system: “Here comes the sun, and I say, ‘It’s alright.’” 

See a video of the day posted here

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