November 8, 2023

IMS, Purdue partner for 2024 Total Solar Eclipse viewing experience

INDIANAPOLIS – Purdue University is joining the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as presenting sponsor for the Total Solar Eclipse viewing event April 8, 2024, in front of a worldwide audience, further deepening the long-standing history between the two iconic organizations. 

The Total Solar Eclipse Event at IMS Presented by Purdue University will be one of the nation’s most prominent viewing events for the once-in-a-generation phenomenon. Chosen as one of only a few NASA broadcast sites that day, IMS will draw all eyes to Indianapolis, located in the heart of the path of totality. The exciting day of programming and festivities will feature Boilermaker experts, alumni, students and more during the in-person event and be broadcast across the world.

“Purdue’s support for this event is a perfect fit because of its storied, successful history in space exploration, motorsports and engineering education,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “‘Boiler Up’ will take on a whole new meaning through this partnership as thousands look upward to the sky April 8 for a once-in-a-lifetime event.”

The partnership is a natural extension of Purdue’s long history in motorsports and space. Home to the Cradle of Astronauts and the nation’s only accredited motorsports engineering program, Purdue puts more graduates in space and Gasoline Alley than any other university in Indiana.

“Purdue has a special place in space exploration and at IMS,” said Purdue University President Mung Chiang. “Whether the International Space Station or the Yard of Bricks, Boilermakers are there, persistently pursuing their next giant leap. The total solar eclipse is the perfect event to showcase it all, especially in the quarter before the birth of Purdue University in Indianapolis: our capital city's first top 50 university in America.”

Loral O’Hara, Purdue astronaut No. 24 of 27, launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome on Sept. 16 for a six-month stay on the International Space Station. More than 47 space shuttle flights have featured Purdue alumni onboard, and 11 missions have included multiple Boilermakers. While Purdue’s astronauts may be popular, thousands of fellow alums enable the next giant leaps in space exploration working for NASA or within the private sector.

Between its campuses in Indianapolis and West Lafayette, Purdue has propelled students and graduates to exciting motorsports careers at the highest levels of racing, including NASCAR, INDYCAR and the International Motor Sports Association, as well as with manufacturers, most notably Dallara, a prominent race car builder, and Cummins, a global power technology leader. Boilermakers are no stranger to victory lane at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as Matt Kuebel and Mike Koenigs (Josef Newgarden, 2023) and Angela Ashmore (Marcus Ericsson, 2022) were key parts of Indianapolis 500-winning teams the last two years.

“Our partnership with IMS is a very natural extension for our brand and offers us the opportunity to share more incredible stories of Boilermakers taking their next giant leaps — in both space and motorsports — as we get closer to April 8, 2024,” said Katie Ellis, director of marketing strategy at Purdue University. “Purdue’s legacy in space exploration started decades ago, but we have incredible students, faculty and alumni working every day to make world-changing discoveries, so we cannot wait to spotlight them through this partnership.” 

This is the first time in 819 years a total solar eclipse has been visible in Indianapolis, and another 129 years will pass before it occurs again. For three minutes and 46 seconds, Indianapolis will experience darkness as the moon passes between the sun and Earth, completely blocking the sun.

Visit to purchase tickets for the Total Solar Eclipse Event at IMS presented by Purdue University and for more information on event details.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a public research institution with excellence at scale. Ranked among top 10 public universities and with two colleges in the top 4 in the United States, Purdue discovers and disseminates knowledge with a quality and at a scale second to none. More than 105,000 students study at Purdue across modalities and locations, with 50,000 in person on the West Lafayette campus. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue’s main campus has frozen tuition 12 years in a row. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap, including its first comprehensive urban campus in Indianapolis, the new Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business, and Purdue Computes, at 

Writer/Media contact:

Purdue: Trevor Peters,

Indianapolis Motor Speedway: Suzi Elliott,

Sources: Mung Chiang, @PurduePresident

Katie Ellis,

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