Days after four Kent State students were shot and killed by the Ohio National Guard on May 4, 1970, UC closed the campus indefinitely. Students from other closed schools had been spotted on campus mingling with UC protesters, and disruption was feared from "outside agitators." Students simply went home, and few graduating seniors attended commencement. Forty years later, the UC Alumni Association is holding a special anniversary commencement for the Class of '70.
It was a time when politics were upside down, when elites were rarely mentioned and a backlash had already occurred when Richard Nixon was elected president in 1968. It was a time when college campuses were battlegrounds, when the angriest voices were found there and on urban streets and had faces and names.