2017 Solar Eclipse Events

Located along the path of totality for the Aug. 21 solar eclipse, Willamette University will host a free viewing beginning at 8 a.m. on the university’s North Lawn, which is across State Street from the Oregon State Capitol.

Hundreds of scientists will participate, including a large team led by Jay Pasachoff, noted eclipse researcher and professor of astronomy at Williams College. More than a hundred scientists from the American Astronomical Society’s Solar Physics Division will be on hand to answer questions and to lead science demonstrations during Monday’s viewing; with hundreds of researchers visiting to experiment and observe during the eclipse, the Aug. 21 viewing may feature world’s largest gathering of solar scientists.

The eclipse research isn’t limited to professional scientists. In partnership with the National Solar Observatory, Willamette will also host a citizen scientist working on the Continental-America Telescopic Eclipse Experiment.

Willamette MBA will provide university community members with special glasses for viewing the eclipse. Though we anticipate having extra eclipse safety glasses on hand, we advise visitors to bring appropriate eye protection for directly viewing the eclipse. 

In conjunction with visiting scientists, Willamette Academy students will host a dozen astronomical demonstrations and activities to highlight the science of the total solar eclipse and our solar system.

Offices will close for the eclipse. With supervisors' permission, employees are encouraged to join the viewing on the North Lawn until regular university operations begin at noon. 

The university community will gather about 8 a.m., and the eclipse will begin just after 9 a.m. The totality begins at 10:17 a.m. and will last almost two minutes.

Aug. 17: Panel Discussion

A series of eclipse-related talks leads up to Monday’s viewing, beginning with a free panel discussion at Willamette Heritage Center: "Eclipses, Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanoes: Can History Prepare Us?" Sponsored by the history department, join astronomer Jay Pasachoff, writer Christine Colasurdo and anthropologist Jason Younker to see what history can teach about monumental natural phenomena.

Aug. 18: Lecture

On-campus events kick off in Roger’s Music Center on Friday, Aug. 18, at 7 p.m. with a lecture by astronomer and author Ray Jayawardhana, who will present "A Spectacle Like No Other: The Science and Adventure of Chasing Solar Eclipses.” Tickets are $5 and available here.

Aug. 19: Pub Talk

On Aug. 19 at 7:30 p.m., Willamette professor and cosmologist Rick Watkins will give a free pub talk entitled, “Distilled: from the Eclipse to the Big Bang.” The pub talk is geared for the public, and no ticket is needed. A question and answer session will follow the presentation at Shotski’s Woodfired Pizza, just east of campus at 1230 State Street.

Parking and Accommodations

Overnight accommodations and space reservations are not available, and camping is prohibited on campus. With the Quad as overflow, viewing space should be plentiful. 

On-campus parking will be limited to registered guests and campus community members with university ID. Especially if the weather shifts on the morning of the eclipse, expect major traffic congestion and adjust travel plans accordingly.

Visit for campus maps and driving directions. Here’s a map of the eclipse viewing areas on campus that includes restroom and wheelchair locations.

Additional Resources for Visitors

Museum: Tickets and Special Hours of Operation
Willamette University's Hallie Ford Museum of Art

Salem, Oregon Area 2017 Eclipse Information 
City of Salem and Marion County

Total Solar Eclipse 2017
Travel Salem

2017 Eclipse Across America

North lawn and Eaton Hall