With the total solar eclipse – nicknamed “The Great American Eclipse” – appearing over the skies of campus on Monday, April 8, PennWest Edinboro is preparing to celebrate this celestial event with a schedule of education, entertainment and excitement.

PennWest students, faculty and staff will welcome the public to the festivities, which begin at noon, in preparation for the 3:16 p.m. viewing of totality – the period when the moon passes between the sun and the earth.

Guests are welcome to bring blankets or lawn chairs to enjoy the eclipse around Mallory Lake, in the heart of Edinboro’s campus. Free PennWest Edinboro branded eclipse safety glasses will be available at the event, while supplies last.  

The festivities will include local food trucks, kids activities, eclipse-related merchandise and more. Edinboro student clubs and organizations will be selling popcorn from Erie, Pennsylvania-based Popluck and glowsticks as a fundraiser.

Edinboro’s bookstore will be selling student-designed T-shirts commemorating the event. Indoor dining options will be open in the Frank G. Pogue Student Center and Van Houten Dining Hall during normal hours of operation and public restrooms will be available.

Dr. David Hurd, director of PennWest Edinboro’s planetarium, will lead the educational events on campus. Hurd has dedicated the last 20 years to producing and implementing tactile astronomy materials for visually impaired individuals and has worked with NASA to create the official braille guides to experiencing the eclipse. Guides will be available to view at the PennWest Edinboro watch party.

Edinboro’s campus radio station, WFSE 88.9, will broadcast live from outside of the Jeremy D. Brown Human Services Building. Listeners can tune in from home on Fighting Scots Radio or at the livestream link. Edinboro students will produce a specially designed playlist for the afternoon, with the announcers sharing related trivia and incorporating live interviews with Dr. Hurd and guest speakers.

At 2:02 p.m., the partial eclipse will be viewable in the Edinboro sky. Totality will begin at 3:16 p.m., with maximum totality at 3:18 p.m. Totality will end at 3:20 p.m., with partiality ending at 4:30 p.m.

For more information about the event – and an official countdown clock, visit www.pennwest.edu/eclipse.

Preparations for April 8 Solar Eclipse

Eye Injury Prevention

As a reminder, it is not safe to look directly at the sun without specialized eye protection for solar viewing. Looking at any part of the bright sun through a camera lens, binoculars or a telescope without a special-purpose solar filter secured over the front of the optics will instantly cause severe eye injury. You can view the eclipse directly without proper eye protection only when the moon completely obscures the sun's bright face – during the brief period known as totality. You'll know it's safe when you no longer see any part of the sun through eclipse glasses or a solar viewer.

Solar eclipse glasses will be available at the event, available on a first come, first served basis.

Reporting Emergencies

While on campus, please report all emergencies to the University Police at 814-732-2911.


On the day of the event, please park in designated parking lots and spaces. Do not park in the grass. No parking permits will be required or enforced. Overnight camping is not permitted. Bus parking will be available in the Cooper Science Center parking lot. If your group is traveling by bus, please contact Lisa at 814-732-1608 for more information.


Seating will not be provided at the event. Please bring a chair or blanket.


Public restrooms will be available at the event in the Jeremy D. Brown Human Services Building parking lot and select campus buildings.


Food trucks will be on site at the event in the Jeremy D. Brown Human Services Building parking lot. Also, food will be available for purchase in the Frank G. Pogue Student Center’s Food Court and the Van Houten Dining Hall.

Live Coverage

WFSE will be providing live coverage during the event. Tune in to 88.9 or at the livestream link for an educational narration.