Solar Eclipse Event Draws Big Crowds

Students, faculty and staff, & members of the community started gathering at the J. Willard Marriott Library as early as 8:30 that morning on August 21st, 2017. Their goal was to obtain one of 2,500 free pairs of solar eclipse glasses from one of the last caches available in Salt Lake City. The event was made possible by both efforts from the library and from partners from the Physics and Astronomy Department of the University of Utah.

With an estimated attendance of over 3,000, the lines reached as far as the Union Plaza and past the David Eccles School of Business, but students were not deterred in their efforts to view the solar occurrence. Towards the peak of the eclipse (around 11:33), many students began to share their glasses with those around them creating a sense of unity between new and current students at the U.

Jordan Hanzon, marketing and PR assistant at the library, helped organize the event and was surprised at the support and attendance. “It was crazy! It seemed like the lines never ended, but everyone was so happy to be there,” said Hanzon. “There was a real feeling of community on the plaza and I hope that everyone felt welcome on campus and at the library.”

The event kicked off the beginning of the fall semester for students at the university, but the library has several more events planned in order to help students know of the resources and services at the library including an event in September called Hooplaza.  They also began collecting used solar eclipse glasses in a partnership with the James E. Faust Law Library to donate to the Astronomers without Borders.

For more info about upcoming events at the library,
please contact Jordan Hanzon at or (801) 581-8557


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