Kent State Grad Remembers Once-in-a-Lifetime Meeting With David Crosby 

In 2017, Kent State alumna Taylor Pierce, BS '18, had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to interview  iconic singer/songwriter David Crosby, who performed the protest song “Ohio” as a member of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.  

Crosby, who died this week at the age of 81, visited Kent State in 2017 and toured the May 4 Visitors Center for the first time. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young had released the single “Ohio” in summer 1970, raising international awareness of the tragic events at Kent State on May 4, 1970, when four students were killed and nine injured by the Ohio National Guard. 

When Pierce heard of Crosby’s passing this week, she began to reminisce about the time she spent engaging with him on the Kent Campus. 

“I felt deeply saddened to hear of David Crosby's passing,” said Pierce, who is now a full-time search engine optimization strategist for Razorfish. “When I heard the news, I immediately thought of the time I got to meet and interact with him, and thought of what a monumental loss this is. He was such an iconic musician who helped inspire much of the sound of rock music starting in the '60s through the present day.”  

Pierce said she has an enormous passion for music, especially rock, which made the interview with Crosby particularly important to her. As a senior public relations major at Kent State, Pierce was “equal parts elated and starstruck” when a mentor offered her the chance to interview Crosby during his visit. 

She remembers how warm and engaged he was as he walked around the May 4 Visitors Center for the first time. Crosby was kind, down to earth and he treated the student journalists with respect, she said. 

“He seemed moved by the displays and talked honestly about how the center made him feel for those that lost their lives that day in 1970,” Pierce recalled. “I remember David being very candid when I asked him about the song "Ohio," and he told me that his music was meant to take you on an emotional voyage.” 

Pierce and Crosby never contacted one another again, except when he reacted to her social media post of their interview in 2017.  

But Pierce hoped that her interview with Crosby left a lasting impression with her peers and conveyed to them the importance of the song "Ohio" and how it brought attention to the tragic loss of life at Kent State on May 4, 1970. 

“It's important for young people to know that this is a protest song inspired by those four brave students, Jeffrey Miller, Allison Krause, William Schroeder and Sandra Scheuer, that lost their lives at Kent State on May 4th, 1970,” Pierce said. “It's so important for young people to learn about what happened that day on campus and to understand the impact it continues to have on each generation.”  

POSTED: Friday, January 20, 2023 03:03 PM
Updated: Monday, January 23, 2023 01:31 PM
April McClellan-Copeland