Kent State Magazine

Cover Artwork for May 4

50 Years On: From the roots of tragedy have grown tolerance and respect for opposing views.

Cover Art: John-Noall Reid, BA ’98


May 4 50th Commemoration

We reflect on how the university memorialized this tragic event, receive an update on the nine who were wounded, recall the lives of the four who were slain, and round up some digital projects that are helping educate a new generation.

  • Memorials of May 4

    Across the Kent Campus are numerous physical and living memorials to the May 4, 1970 shootings.

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  • Making use of the May 4 Collection

    Much of Kent State University Libraries’ May 4 Collection is now available online—and is used by an international community of researchers, film makers, media professionals and more.

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  • Mapping May 4

    The Mapping May 4 web app has an interactive aerial map of the Kent Campus as it was in May 1970—and features oral histories of people who were present at various locations across campus and in the town.

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  • Remembering the Lives of the Four Slain Students

    The May 4 Visitors Center presented a series of four temporary exhibitions honoring each of the students killed on May 4, 1970. Through letters, scrapbooks and personal memorabilia, we get a sense of their promise and potential—before their lives were cut short on that tragic day.

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  • May 4 Fashion Exhibitions

    Two exhibitions at the Kent State University Museum explored the fashion divide of the ’60s and ’70s and the current day dialogue about social justice, political discourse, conflict resolution and war and peace.

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  • Music of May 4th

    Two professors from Kent State University at Ashtabula share their playlists for protest songs and popular songs from the time period of May 4, 1970.

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Perspective on a Pandemic

Tara C. Smith, PhD, professor of epidemiology at Kent State, says lessons learned from the influenza pandemic of 1918 are informing the response to the current COVID-19 crisis.

Becoming a Scholar and Storyteller

Aidan Taylor’s research on the role black students at Kent State played in social movements prior to and after May 4, 1970 informed a documentary and gave him a new direction.


The Funky WinkerBEAT

A collaboration between two alumni gives a classic comic strip a current update and highlights an innovative program that’s training middle school and high school students to become “backpack” journalists.


Readers Respond

Readers respond to magazine content or comment on KSU–related topics.

President's Perspective

President Diacon on "The Lessons of Kent State: 50 Years Later."

Kent State Bowl Champs

Flash Forward

Making College Count | Turning Dreams into Reality | Accessible for All | Bowled Over | Sisters in Liberty | Fake Versus Factual News | Pay It Flash Forward Emergency Fund | Giving Tuesday By the Numbers

Alumni Life

Kent State Men's Soccer Alumni Reunion Recap | First Place on the Food Network | Turning Trials into Triumph  | Lifelong Learner | Feeding Essential Healthcare Workers | Love Story and Legacy | Class Notes


On May 4, 1970, Howard Ruffner, BS '71, took photos of John Cleary, BArch '74, lying wounded on the ground—one of which made the cover of Life magazine. Fifty years later, the two meet for the first time.



Giving Voice

The poem "Legacy" by Megan Neville, BS '04, MEd '07, was the winner in the adult non-student category of Wick Poetry Center's national call for poems about peace.