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The May 4 Faculty Initiative Team left to right, Kent State professors Mark Seeman,  Carole Barbato, Laura Davis and Professor Emeritus Jerry M. Lewis
The May 4 Faculty Initiative Team left to right, Kent State professors Mark Seeman,  Carole Barbato, Laura Davis and Professor Emeritus Jerry M. Lewis

Using May 4 as a Powerful Teaching Tool

As Kent State marked its Centennial in 2010, it also commemorated the 40th anniversary of the events surrounding May 4, 1970. As part of that milestone, the university succeeded in having the May 4 site added to the National Register of Historic Places, dedicated a May 4 walking tour and launched a fundraising effort for a multimedia May 4 Visitors Center. Many in the community - including alumni and many in the national and international news media - praised the focus on teaching the lessons of May 4 to current and future generations.

The Kent State University team responsible for the successful nomination of the site of the May 4, 1970, shootings to the National Register of Historic Places was recently honored with a 2010 Ohio Historic Preservation Merit Award.

The university's commemoration of May 4 and the associated events reached many tens of thousands of people - in person and online - from Aurora to New Zealand. The extensive educational and media relations work for the commemoration earned the highest honors presented in the 2010 Public Relations Society of America's Cleveland Rocks Awards, as well as several awards at the PR News' recognition ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Nov. 3, 2010.

Though a painful and sensitive event that continues to affect members of the Kent State community, the university was able to take the darkest day in its history and showcase the university in a positive light 40 years later.