Written by Megan Percy
On Wednesday September 22, from noon to 1:30, a festival celebrating the autumnal equinox will be held at the Stonehenge monument, located along U.S. Highway 63 just north of McNutt Hall.
The autumnal equinox is considered to be the first day of the fall, and the word “equinox” is derived from the Latin word aequus, meaning equal. On this day, day and night are close to an equal amount of time.
During the celebration, students can come and take an audio tour of the Stonehenge monument. This replica of the Stonehenge in the United Kingdom was made precisely using water to craft the surface of the rock. It is made of 160 tons of granite, and was built by professors Joseph Senne and David Summers, academics in the civil engineering and mining engineering departments respectively. Similarly to the actual Stonehenge, it works in accompaniment with celestial events, and also acts as a sundial. When it was completed in 1984, the monument was named one of the ten Outstanding Achievements in Engineering from the National Society of Professional Engineers.
There will also be opportunities for students to draw with chalk their interpretations of the seasons on the sidewalk. The Student Union Board will be providing music inspired by Stonehenge, and the Missouri S&T observatory will be open for the students to explore. In addition, Missouri S&T’s very own Dr. Karen Head, a professor of English and Technical Communications, and the university’s new Art’s and Innovation Director, will be performing poetry at the festival.
This festival is thanks to the sponsorship of Missouri S&T’s Student Involvement Center and the office of the Provost, Collin Potts, who recently joined campus on June 1, 2021.
The first 200 students to arrive at the celebration will receive a free lunch, and it is possible to purchase t-shirts to commemorate the unique event. T-shirts can be purchased in advance for $6-9 depending on t-shirt size by emailing the Provost’s office at firstname.lastname@example.org or they can be purchased at the event itself for $10.
In anticipation of the event, students may come into the Student Involvement Center and build a replica Stonehenge themselves, which will be judged for creativity and accuracy, and the winners of the competition will be announced at the festival.