Truett McConnell University president live-feeds eclipse


TMU students, friends, and people in the community gathered on the front lawn and around the cross to view last Monday's total solar eclipse. EMIR CANER/Facebook

CLEVELAND — Photos and videos of the eclipse a week ago have dominated your social media feeds, no doubt. It's possible Truett McConnell University President Emir Caner's contribution via Facebook Live made the list. 

Broadcasting from the school's front lawn, the video opens with a bright, blue, north Georgia sky amid excited students and faculty. 

"There are hundreds of people sitting on the lawn," says Caner, panning around. "Everybody's putting on the glasses, and here comes the total eclipse as you watch it. We are going dark."

Last Monday's coast-to-coast eclipse captured the nation's attention, to say the least. Hard numbers are almost impossible to come by, but consider this: over 12 million live in the eclipse's 70-mile-wide path of totality and up to seven million living within a day's drive said they intended to make the trek. CNN reported that about half of Americans planned to watch it. In the days that followed, Americans shared their own experiences.

"It's out, baby."

The excitement became palpable in Caner's video as the moon passed between the sun and the town of Cleveland. 

"It's about to be a full eclipse, right there," he narrated while aiming his phone toward the sun, now covered. "It's out, baby. Wow."

Scanning around to show a 360-degree sunset, Caner continued. "It's just incredible, amazing. ... If you are an alumnus of the school, I hope you can enjoy this. We wish you could be on campus, understand you're all across the world."

Showing the worldwide interest, Caner peeked at the comments scrolling on his phone and took a moment to welcome one viewer from Brno, Czech Republic. (In 2000 Caner met his wife Hana, the daughter of the general secretary of the Czech Baptist Union in Prague, while on a mission trip.) 

"You see it becoming bright," the TMU president adds as the time of totality comes to a close and he points out landmarks in the distance becoming more clear. "You're looking at Long Mountain in the background, there. Over here to the left, of course, is Thunder Ridge – for those of us who know the 240 acres of Truett McConnell University, what we're looking on, we're looking south. ... And you can see it literally brightening [as] the sun's coming up again."

After welcoming another Facebook commenter, Caner made a few more observations before ending the broadcast. 

"It was incredible, beautiful. The totality was absolutely stunning," he said.

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