The tragic events of May 4, 1970, had a profound impact on Kent State University, the nation and the world. In the ensuing years, Kent State's learning community has honored the memories of Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder with an enduring dedication to scholarship that seeks to prevent violence and promote democratic values from public service to civil discourse.
Memorials & Observances
The lasting impact of these historical events continue to resonate nearly a half-century later. The events of May 4, 1970 have been recognized via important memorials and observances as a way to reflect and learn.
School for Peace & Conflict Studies
Immediately following the shootings, a university-wide commission was charged with recommending long-term institutional responses. The commission's consensus recommendation was that Kent State University should establish a living memorial in the form of a center to study and to promote peaceful mechanisms of change. The Center for Peaceful Change was established in 1971, later renamed the School of Peace and Conflict Studies (SPCS). The center's undergraduate degree program in peace and conflict studies was established two years later, in 1973, making it one of the oldest in the country. It is also currently the largest in the country, enrolling in excess of 1,000 students in its courses each academic year. SPCS also staffs a concentration in Conflict Analysis and Management in the Political Science Ph.D. program, and offers trainings and services in mediation, negotiation, nonviolent action, and facilitation to the community.
During Kent State's 30th commemoration of the events of May 4, 1970, the university launched its first multidisciplinary democracy symposium. Other symposiums followed, all with an eye to democratic values, learning valuable lessons from the past and considerations for the future. Find detailed information about the themes and speakers in the university's special collections.
May 4 Task Force
The May 4 Task Force was founded by Kent State students and victims of the May 4 shootings. Alan Canfora, Robbie Stamps and Dean Kahler were three of the charter members. The Task Force felt that the truth about what happened in May of 1970 had yet to be told and that the lessons to be learned from the tragedy should be part of a continuous and living history.