Kenyon College: May 4, 1970

Ad which appeared in the Cleveland Plain Dealer

Colleges and universities throughout the country were hotbeds of protest and demonstration in the late 1960s. Kenyon College students prided themselves on their non-violent means of opposition. They held silent vigils, occasionally picketed, but with few exceptions never engaged in potentially violent displays of resistance. When a situation began to turn dangerous, Kenyon students bowed out.

After the Kent State and Jackson State shootings, the Kenyon community remained calm and focused its efforts on the injustice that occurred in both places. Some members, mostly students, protested the violence not only on Kenyon's campus, but across Knox County. Kenyon students made short statements in twenty-two churches on the Sunday following the Kent State shooting and set up information booths throughout Mount Vernon. Kenyon was attempting to include the entire community in their concern. They even set up a fund for medical and legal aid for the injured and imprisoned protestors.

Ten days after the Kent State shooting, two people were killed at Jackson State. The drive to raise money for Kent then included Jackson. They sponsored dinners and took donations for both. Kenyon was one of only two white colleges in Ohio to send aid to Jackson State.

In the midst of violence and panic elsewhere, Kenyon remained calm. They held meetings nightly for several days, agreeing to postpone final exams for a few days, but to continue classes. Kenyon was one of the only colleges to remain in session, impressive in the middle of such disasters. The College sent delegates to Kent to inspect the evidence and see what Kenyon could do to help, but largely involved itself in maintaining order on its own campus. News-analyst Robert Novak was on campus for a lecture during the Kent State shooting and was so impressed by the actions of the entire Kenyon community, that he wrote an article commending their behavior.

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