CULLOWHEE, N.C. -- The first day of the fall semester is usually known for learning and celebrating newfound freedom.

But for Western Carolina University, classes were briefly halted for the highly-anticipated solar eclipse.

"It's so incredible," said one excited student before the eclipse.

Classes were canceled from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., giving students the opportunity to gather in the middle of campus to watch the solar eclipse.

While the school is used to having great views being tucked in the Great Smoky Mountains, WCU had the distinction of being the only university in North Carolina to see full totality.

The university distributed 15,000 solar eclipse glasses to students, faculty and whoever else showed up. After the eclipse, those glasses were recollected, as they will be shipped to third-world countries that will experience a solar eclipse in the future.