JCJC students & staff watch historic eclipse

Written By: Teresa McCreery
Email Address: teresa.mccreery@jcjc.edu
Date Submitted: 2017-08-21 22:08:04

ELLISVILLE – Only 300 eclipse glasses were available for Jones County Junior College students, faculty and staff but hundreds more who stood in line for the opportunity to witness history, left empty handed.  The free gift from the Science Department didn’t last long much to the delight and surprise of JCJC Science Department division chair, Eric Shows.
“I wish I had known so many people would be excited about this rare astronomical event,” said Shows. “I ordered the special glasses in May and I could not predict the wonderful turnout today.”
Richton’s Haley Vogt, Kara Lowe of Mize and Gracy Toney of Long Beach took turns looking through the eclipse glasses soon after picking up a pair from the Science department.  They each felt this was a “sign” it was going to be a special year.
“It’s the first day of college classes and we have an eclipse.  I thought that was very interesting and I wanted to be here so I could tell my kids about it in the future,” said journalism major, Kara Lowe. 
The majority of the campus taking part in the historical event gathered on the massive lawn in front of Jones Hall to get a look at the partial eclipse. A group of students from Vancleave, Clay Whitt, Blake Blacksmith and Autumn Dunnaway said they enjoyed the afternoon with the Jones family watching the sky.
“It’s cool seeing everyone out here like this,” said Dunnaway.  Whitt added, “It’s not every day you see an eclipse, even a partial eclipse.  I didn’t want to miss the experience.”
Sumrall freshman, Ali Coleman took advantage of the gathering to watch the solar event as an opportunity to meet people.  He had the chance to pose for a picture with JCJC President, Dr. Jesse Smith who was also taking in the special event.
“It’s cool meeting new people, coming together for this special event.  But, it was really cool getting my picture with Dr. Smith!”
Because south Mississippi was not in the direct path of the eclipse, the area did not become very dark. Members of the JCJC Lady Bobcat basketball team and their friends acknowledged it was little disappointing because they didn’t experience totality.  However, Shows explained he was surprised at how dark it did get around 1:15 in the afternoon with the partial eclipse. In the end, Shows said he was glad so many people focused on the science event today as a special time to be a part of something that has happened in the U.S. only once, 99-years ago.


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