Yearlong Observance for the 50th Commemoration

Several years ago, Kent State University made a commitment to honor the 50th anniversary of the events of May 4, 1970, in a manner that recognizes the historical significance that the events of that tragic day had not only on our university but on the history of our nation and world.

On July 31, 2019, we kicked off a yearlong observance dedicated to honoring and remembering the events of May 4, 1970, as well as those killed and wounded on that fateful day. Throughout the 2019-2020 academic year, more than 100 educational, cultural, artistic and special events were held to help our students, staff and our communities learn about the legacy of May 4, 1970, and how those lessons carry forward.

Throughout this yearlong observance, we were committed to providing programs and events that educate not only about the events of 1970 but also teach important lessons of diversity, peaceful conflict resolution, reconciliation and reducing polarizing discourse.

To help achieve these goals, we invited a diverse group of speakers and presented a wide range of viewpoints to help our students, faculty, staff and nation learn from, and reconcile with, the past. We felt it was important that the yearlong observance of the 50th commemoration focuses on how the important lessons of the past 50 years can continue to guide our core values for the next 50 years.

We remain mindful that Kent State occupies a special place among universities in America. We know firsthand the dire consequences of polarizing rhetoric and the positive outcomes that result when we work together to reconcile our differences through thoughtful reflection and productive discourse.

We sincerely appreciate the hard work of our faculty, students and staff, along with the participation of so many invited guests, who all helped to make the 50th Commemoration truly unique and historic.