Event Upcoming Event

Exploration of the aligned moon and sun

An Unforgettable Experience: Reflecting on the April 8 Eclipse

In the quiet setting of Perryville, Missouri, an extraordinary event unfolded on April 8th, 2024. McDonnell Scholars, WashU faculty, McDonnell Academy collaborators, and guests of John McDonnell and his foundation team, came together for a captivating celestial phenomenon: the total solar eclipse.

Despite encountering several traffic delays, the majority of scholars arrived at the Perryville barn venue via shuttle. Situated on a sprawling 100-acre farm, the Academy welcomed nearly 200 guests, all enthusiastic to participate in the day’s celestial festivities.

Laura Benoist, director of the McDonnell Academy, extended a gracious welcome and introduced the Schremp family, who provided insightful remarks about the farm’s rich history. John McDonnell then took the stage, introducing Professor Ramanath Cowsik, who enlightened the audience about the eclipse’s significance, its historical context, and the rarity of Missouri witnessing two total eclipses in less than a decade. Safety protocols were emphasized, ensuring the enjoyment of all attendees, including children.

Equipped with eclipse glasses, guests ventured outside to witness the celestial spectacle unfold. Spread across the expansive field behind the farm, conversations filled the air as anticipation grew.

Applause echoed as the moon gradually obscured the sun, leading to a collective sense of awe as darkness enveloped the landscape during the nearly four-minute totality.

This shared experience will forever hold significance for all who were present, leaving a lasting memory of April 8, 2024. The McDonnell Academy at WashU, brought together students, faculty, families, and corporate guests, showcasing the power of community and discovery.

Registration for this event is closed.

This extraordinary experience promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of the magnificent cosmic event during a solar eclipse.

Join the McDonnell Academy community as we share the phenomenon, unraveling its secrets and showcasing the wonders of our universe.

Registered guests will be provided with transportation to the event, where lunch will be served. The day will feature an educational presentation and an exclusive talk by renowned scientist Dr. Ramanath Cowsik, the James S. McDonnell Professor of Space Sciences at WashU. Attendees will receive commemorative souvenirs, including eclipse eye glasses, and a brochure with detailed map highlighting the path of totality.

McDonnell Academy EventAgenda
10:00 AMDeparture from WashU to Perryville, MO
11:30 AMArrival to Venue: Generations Barn & Bins
11:30 AM – 12:30 PMLunch
12:30-1:00 PMPresentation: Dr. Ramanath Cowsik
12:41 PMEclipse Begins (1:58 – 2:03 PM Totality)
2:30 PMDeparture back to WashU
4:00 PMArrival to WashU

This event is sponsored by John F. McDonnell, the founding benefactor of the McDonnell International Scholars Academy.

The Monday, April 8, 2024, total solar eclipse will cross North America, passing over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. The path of the eclipse continues from Mexico, entering the United States in Texas, and traveling through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.


Local Spectacle

In Perryville, MO, experience four minutes of totality during the total solar eclipse.

McDonnell Scholars enjoy eclipse with John McDonnell in 2017

McDonnell Scholars experience totality

The home of John F. McDonnell served as a unique venue for the McDonnell Academy to experience the 2017 total solar eclipse.