Kent State’s May 4 Visitors Center Focuses on Life Amid Tragedy in “Sandy’s Scrapbook” Exhibition
Sandy Scheuer was on her way to class on May 4, 1970, when she was shot and killed by Ohio National Guardsmen responding to protests of the Vietnam War at Kent State University. She was a junior honors student, a speech therapy major and a proud member of Alpha Xi Delta sorority. Outside of the classroom, she was an alumna of Boardman High School in Ohio and an active member of the local Jewish community. Now, almost 50 years later, Ms. Scheuer’s life will be the subject of a new exhibit at the May 4 Visitors Center at Kent State.
On Feb. 12, the center will open its newest exhibition, a special tribute to the life of Ms. Scheuer. The exhibition, titled “Sandy’s Scrapbook,” is based on the actual scrapbook that Ms. Scheuer kept while at Kent State, and will feature items and memories provided by her family and her sister, Audrey.
Mindy Farmer is the director of the May 4 Visitors Center at Kent State, and she describes the exhibit as a tribute to a young person who lost her life too soon.
“In researching the exhibit, we found several of Sandy’s personal scrapbooks,” Farmer says. “They were full of candid photos, letters from friends, concert tickets and mementos from major life events. We soon realized that the best way to honor Sandy was to let her curate her own life. The colors, flowers and many of the images come directly from the scrapbook she kept while here at Kent State. And, as much as possible, we have left her original labels.”
“Sandy’s Scrapbook” is the first in what the May 4 Visitors Center hopes will be a series of four exhibitions in tribute to the four lives lost on May 4, 1970 – Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder. The purpose behind these exhibits is to focus not just on the deaths of these students, but on the lives that they lived and the people that they were.
“Too often, Sandy, Bill, Allison and Jeff are only known for their tragic deaths,” Farmer says. “We want to show that they lived interesting and full lives. And, in many ways, their stories represent the divides of the era. Allison and Jeff were activists. Bill was a member of the ROTC, struggling with the meaning of the Vietnam War. Sandy was an honors student trying to get to class. They were all siblings, children of loving parents and students of Kent State University. They were people with enormous potential, taken way too soon. That is what we hope to convey.”
The exhibition was designed by Glyphix Studio, a student-staffed design studio within Kent State’s School of Visual Communication Design, and IdeaBase, a student-powered design agency within Kent State’s College of Communication and Information. “Sandy’s Scrapbook” is sponsored by the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation, Hillel at Kent State and Kent State’s Jewish Studies Program in the College of Arts and Sciences.
For more information about the May 4 Visitors Center at Kent State, please visit www.kent.edu/may4.