Upstate mooned at the Party of the Century
Photos by Brandon Pack
By Cierra Mills
Crowds of students, faculty, and staff left their worries behind to enjoy a highly anticipated two minutes of darkness at the Party of the Century Monday afternoon.
Spartans kicked off the Fall semester by witnessing a rare moment in history – a total solar eclipse around 2:39 p.m. Students were given opportunities to win commemorative T-shirts and received free eclipse-viewing glasses, which ran out of stock in the first 15 minutes.
The party gave freshman and transfer students a chance to meet new people while enjoying party refreshments and a front row seat to the eclipse.
Many new and transfer students received T-shirts at recent orientations with an Upstate-branded hashtag, “#IGotMooned.” More than 800 T-shirts were distributed.
Refreshments were eclipse-themed, featuring items like vanilla and chocolate moon pies, and Sunkist and Sun Drop sodas.
“The Solar Eclipse pretty much happens once in a lifetime and I felt honored to share the moment with my sorority sisters of Alpha Kappa Alpha,” Cianna Clinkscales, a senior, said.
As the moon began moving across the sun, students competed in historical solar eclipse trivia in hopes of winning prizes – USC Upstate-branded solar eclipse T-shirts, stress balls, and USB flash drives.
The DJ kept the crowd entertained with rap, pop, and country music. Students danced to radio hits while faculty waived their arms to the ‘80s classic hit, “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler.
During the two minutes of partial totality, attendees erupted in excitement and gazed through their eclipse viewers at the sky in awe. Students viewing the eclipse chanted, “This is going to be the beginning.”
Junior, Howard Parham appreciated the positive energy shared by students, faculty, and staff. “Words cannot describe the experience from today. I got to experience something that happens only rarely,” Parham said.
The next total solar eclipse visible in the United States will occur in 2024, but South Carolina will not be in the path of totality. The last total solar eclipse viewable from South Carolina occurred nearly 50 years ago, in 1970.
This is the last time the Upstate family will collectively gaze at a total solar eclipse for years to come. The event will go down in history as a story to be told for generations.
Check out our full gallery from the Party of the Century: