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KSU’s May 4 Visitors Center opening Oct. 20

10/18/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

The Kent State University May 4 Visitors Center will open to the public Oct. 20.
Photo courtesy of Kent State University
KENT — Kent State University (KSU) will open its May 4 Visitors Center Oct. 20 as part of the university’s Homecoming celebration.

The public is invited to view the center’s exhibits at an open house from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Visitors to the open house will receive a May 4 commemorative gift, while supplies last.

On May 4, 1970, Kent State was placed in an international spotlight after a student protest against the Vietnam War and the presence of the Ohio National Guard on campus ended in 13 seconds of rifle fire by 28 Ohio National Guardsmen, leaving four students dead, one permanently paralyzed and eight others wounded, according to KSU officials.

Using images, artifacts and multimedia, the center’s exhibits tell the story of the decade leading up to May 4, 1970, the events of that day, the aftermath and the historical impact.

Laura Davis, director of the center and a KSU freshman in 1970 who witnessed the shootings, said, “The May 4 Visitors Center offers a powerful and immersive experience that provides context and perspective on the tragedy and examines the lasting impact that still resonates today. From the perspective of more than 40 years, the visitors center experience remembers the students who lost their lives on May 4 — Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder — while offering meaning for today in their loss.”

Over the past five years, scholars from KSU worked with humanities scholars, consultants, community leaders, veterans and students to determine the exhibit content.

The cost for the design and construction of the center was $1.1 million. Funding included contributions from the public, veterans’ groups, a $300,000 grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities and $667,000 from all 16 deans from every KSU campus and college, an expression of the university’s national leadership role in promoting nonviolence and democratic values, according to university officials.

Visitors to KSU also can walk the steps of that history on the May 4 Walking Tour, which was dedicated May 4, 2010, for the 40th commemoration. The tour features historic site trail markers and a documentary narrated by civil rights activist Julian Bond.

The May 4 Visitors Center is located in Room 101 of Taylor Hall at 300 Midway Drive. For 2012, beginning on Oct. 22, the center will be open from noon to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and Saturdays. Admission is free. The center also will be open by appointment for group tours. Call 330-672-4660 or email may4@kent.edu for more information.

For more information about the May 4 Visitors Center, visit www.kent.edu/may4.


Stephanie Kist contributed to this report.

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