Commemoration Events: Year At A Glance

Below is a quick overview of the 50th Commemoration events for this year. All events take place on the Kent Campus unless otherwise indicated.



31 Tom Grace Community Keynote Speech

31 Educators Summit: Teaching The Lessons of May 4, 1970


01 Sara Abou Rashed Community Keynote Speech

10 Wearing Justice: Fashion Exhibit

19 Fall Freshman Convocation (Keynote by Chic Canfora)

22 Opening Reception! Grand Visions: Prospects for Radical Change


01 Call For Poems About Peace & Conflict Transformation

06 Fire in the Heartland Film at May 4 Visitors Center

15 Global Community Poem (People around the world are invited to contribute to poem about May 4, 1970)

18 A Conversation with Sonia Sanchez

18 Laugh in Peace Comedy Tour (Muslim & Jewish stand-up comics)

19 Culture/Counterculture: Fashions of the 1960s-70s

19 Howard Ruffner Moments of Truth Book Launch

19 15th Annual Poynter Media Ethics Workshop

29 @KSUVOICES1970 (A social media project that recreates the 1969 – 1970 school year)


02 Walking Tour of The May 4 Historic Site With Alan Canfora

02 PTSD: From May 4 Through Present Day Panel Discussion

04 Fire in the Heartland (Film at May 4 Visitors Center)

08 Mapping May 4: Voices Of A Community (Oral history web app)

08 Fire in the Heartland (Film at KIVA)

14 Exhibit: The Truth Demands Justice: (History of The May 4 Task Force)

16 Making Meaning of May 4: The Kent State Shootings in American History (Free community course)

16 May 4 & Its Meaning on American Society    
* Stark Campus

16 Activities and significance regarding May 4 50th Anniversary (May 4 archives)

18 Wearing Justice Gallery Talk (Faculty & students discuss their designs)

19 Our Brother Jeff (Jeff Miller Exhibit Opens In Visitors Center)  

24-26 Conference: Commemorating Violent Conflicts & Building Sustainable Peace

25 Conference: Spaces of Conflict (Focuses on the topic of conflict, protest, activism, and space)

27-29 Congress To Campus (Two former bipartisan members of Congress meet with students to increase civic literacy and participation)


01-11 Musical: Hair (performances on multiple dates)

01 Fire in the Heartland (Film at May 4 Visitors Center)

07 1970 Kent ROTC Remembers the May 4 Tragedy

14 Phi Beta Kappa Lecture, featuring Dr. R. Jay Wallace Berkeley (Speaking on “Resentment and Power.”)

15 Symposium: Walls  (30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall)

19 Mitch Landrieu (Speaker, former mayor of New Orleans)

21-24 NCSS Conference: Listening Wall Display
*Austin Texas

22 NCSS Conference: May 4 Panel Discussion
*Austin Texas


05 Can Science Help Heal a Divided Nation?  Cultivating Empathy & Personal Connection (Speaker Maria Zaragoza )

06 Wind Ensemble Concert

13 Fall graduate degree commencement. Keynote by ___________

14 Fall undergraduate degree commencement. Keynote by ___________

16 May 4 Exhibition (Contains photos, posters, and artifacts)
* Stark Campus



01 Constructed Answer (Exhibit featuring artists who create work about different types of trauma)

01 50 Years: Long Live the Memory of Jackson State and Kent State

22 Jackson State, Kent State & Civil Rights Movement (Discussion about the relationship between Kent State & Jackson State shootings)
*Stark Campus


01 May 4th Themed Cambodia Study Abroad Program

19 Placing May 4 In A Historical Context (Presentation will detail the events leading up to May 4th as well as community reactions)
*Stark Campus

20 The Black Student Movement on Campus During the Antiwar Era of 1968 – 1970. (Panel discussion on the role of BUS and May 4, 1970)

20 Rebuilding State & Society after Civil War (Symposium about the practices of post-civil war peace building)

29 The May 4th Event and New Directions in Scholarship on the Vietnam War (Symposium will focus on the Vietnam War period and connection to May 4, 1970)


01 Black United Students, May 4, and the Shootings at Jackson State Exhibit

07 Philosophy Graduate Student Conference ("Remembrance of May 4th")

07-08 Cleveland Chamber Choir  (Musical selections of social justice and activism)
*City of Kent & City of Cleveland

11 How We Remember May 4th  (A Geographic Approach to Looking Back and Moving Forward)
*Stark Campus

12 Leading Through Tragedy. Panel discussion bringing together leaders who were impacted by campus violence.

21 May 1970: Exploring the Complexities and Connections of Two Campus Tragedies. Student spring break trip to visit Jackson State University.

23 Between Individual and Society: Social Justice Through Fashion Exhibit.

23 International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes Conference

28 Listening Wall Display at NASPA Annual Conference
*Austin, Texas


01 WITNESS: The Pivotal Role of Students in Documenting the Kent State Shootings. John Filo & Howard Ruffner photography exhibit.

01 Four Fallen Students Exhibition (Individual exhibitions about Sandy, Bill, Jeff and Allison will be displayed simultaneously across campus)

01 Veroni Lectures in Philosophy and the Humanities ("Responsibilities and Taking on Responsibility.”)

01 May 4 Voices Radio Play (NPR Syndication - check local listings)

02 Can Science Help Heal a Divided Nation? When Emotions Hijack Reaso(Speaker Maria Zaragoza )

05 Cambodia Revisited: Original Modern Dance Work by MamLuft& Co

09 Africa and the Global Atlantic World Conference

18-20 May 4 Voices: Theatrical Play (multiple performance dates)
*Stark Campus

23 Civic Commons Panel Discussion About May 4, 1970
*Stark Campus

24 Original Wind Ensemble Composition About May 4, 1970

24-26 May 4 Voices: Theatrical Play (multiple performance dates)
*Stark Campus

24 13th Annual Student Conference (legacy of May 4th)
*Stark Campus

26 Luigi Cherubini's Requiem Mass

30 KSU Students and President Nixon (Panel discussion with KSU students who met with President Nixon days after May 4, 1970)

Commemoration Weekend (May 1-4)

The Commemoration Weekend will have a number of meaningful, educational and commemorative events that focus on honoring and remembering those who lost their lives or were wounded on May 4, 1970. Additional events will help inspire future generations to have meaningful voice and be leaders of peaceful conflict resolution. Events Currently Being Planned Include:

  • Visitors Center & Historic Site Tours
  • Panel discussions & exhibits
  • Film screenings & book signings
  • Appearances by survivors of the May 4, 1970 shootings
  • Presidential Speaker Series
  • Candlelight Walk & Vigil
  • Traditional May 4, noon commemoration

See a Full List of Events Here