May 4-Related Speakers

Kent State has numerous experts, including witnesses, historians and other members of the university community, who are available for presentations and media interviews about the 50th Commemoration and the history and impact of May 4. If you are interested in obtaining a speaker or speakers for your event or classroom, please contact us at or call (330) 672-2423.

Topic: 50th Commemoration

Rod Flauhaus is currently leading the university-wide strategy and planning efforts for the 50th commemoration in 2020. Rod has been involved with the legacy of May 4, 1970, since the early 1980s when, as student president of the May 4 Task Force, he led the 15th commemoration. He was also key in working with the Kent State University Board of Trustees on the original memorial proposal and was also a consultant for the 30th commemoration. In addition to a Bachelor of Arts from Kent State, he holds a Master of Arts from the University of Akron.


Topic: Witnesses & Shooting Survivors

Alan Canfora was a leading Kent State University anti-war student protester when he was shot and wounded on May 4, 1970. While earning his bachelor's and master's degrees at Kent State, Mr. Canfora emerged as the leader of the ongoing May 4 movement for truth and justice – and he remains recognized as a top expert regarding the 1970 tragedy at Kent State and the history of American student activism. Today, he continues as director of the nonprofit, educational Kent May 4 Center as well as library director at the Akron Law Library and chairperson of the Barberton Democratic Party in nearby Barberton, Ohio.

Chic Canfora was an eyewitness and survivor of the shootings at Kent State University on May 4, 1970. A Kent 25 defendant, she was one of 24 students indicted by the Ohio Grand Jury, and later exonerated, for activism during a weekend of protests against the Vietnam War. She earned three degrees, including a Ph.D. at Kent State, where she teaches in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication today. She is a stalwart advocate for May 4 remembrance and for the importance of connecting the lessons of the anti-war movement to emerging movements today, including Black Lives Matter and March for Our Lives.

Thomas M. Grace is one of nine former students who survived wounds inflicted by Ohio National Guard gunfire on May 4, 1970, at Kent State University. He is a scholar and adjunct professor of American history. He specializes in both the protest movement in the 1960s and the American Civil War. His published work includes “Kent State: Death and Dissent in the Long Sixties” (University of Massachusetts Press, 2016); “Kent State and Historical Memory” in “Democratic Narrative, History & Memory,” edited by Carole A. Barbato and Laura L. Davis (Kent State University Press, 2012); as well as scholarly and popular format articles about the Civil War, for which he is a regular contributor to America’s Civil War.


Topic: May 4 Visitors Center

Dr. Mindy Farmer is the director of the May 4th Visitors Center and an assistant professor in the History Department at Kent State University where she oversees all aspects of the Center’s educational programming and academic outreach. During her tenure, the Center has doubled in size to include a new Reflection Gallery which hosts new, original exhibitions. She and her team are currently working on a series of exhibits celebrating the lives of the four students killed on May 4, 1970 and a collaborative tribute to the 50thanniversaries of the shootings at Kent State and Jackson State. Farmer was also a coauthor of the successful application to make the May 4 Shootings Site a National Historic Landmark.