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Actress Jane Fonda to speak at Kent State University's 50th Commemoration of May 4, 1970 shooting

Fonda will discuss her life in social activism and reflect on the history and legacy of the events of May 4, 1970.
Jane Fonda won Best Actress Oscars for “Klute” and “Coming Home,” earning another five nominations over her career so far. (Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Variety)

KENT, Ohio — To help mark the 50th anniversary of the tragic shooting at Kent State that killed four students, actress and political activist Jane Fonda will speak during Commemoration weekend. 

The two-time Academy Award winner will speak on Sunday, May 3rd at the university's Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center. Fonda will discuss her life in social activism and reflect on the history and legacy of the events of May 4, 1970. 

The event is free and open to the public, but advance reserved tickets are required.

The announcement of Fonda as a guest speaker for the 50th Commemoration was made during Monday's Faculty Senate meeting.

On May 4, 1970, members of the Ohio national guard opened fire on students protesting the Vietnam War. Four students were killed and nine others were wounded. Kent State University is honoring the 50th commemoration with a year-long observance of educational programs and events in addition to the traditional commemoration activities.

Kent State says the weekend of special events for the 50th Commemoration will take place over four days from Friday, May 1, through Monday, May 4, with each day emphasizing a different focus of the May 4 story. Check the May 4 50th Commemoration website for updates and additional information.

Some of the other notable events during Commemoration weekend will include a candelight march and silent vigil. The march starts at 11 p.m. on Sunday, May 3 and the silent vigil is held from midnight until the noon May 4 Commemoration ceremony. The keynote speaker of the Commemoration ceremony will be Harvard University constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe. 

“It is our great responsibility and honor to welcome the nation and world to our campus,” said Kent State President Todd Diacon in a statement. “Together we will remember Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder, and honor Kent State and community members who have kept their memories alive for 50 years.  We will listen to, and learn from, noted speakers, experts and performers, all while we absorb the lessons of the importance of free speech, the need for civil dialogue and the dangers of polarization.”

For ticketing and general event information, call 330-672-50TH (5084) or email may4ksu@kent.edu.

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