Kent State University’s (KSU) May 4 Visitors Center has been selected by the International Society for Landscape, Place and Material Culture (ISLPMC) to receive its Historic Preservation Certificate of Merit. This award is given yearly to select individuals and organizations engaged in activities designed to preserve historical sites and raise public awareness of preservation efforts.
The award was presented to the center’s director, Mindy Farmer, at the society’s 2015 conference in North Canton. Farmer attributes the award selection to the May 4 Visitors Center’s passion for preservation of the physical site, as well as its focus on educating the public about the events of May 4 and their lasting impact.
“This award acknowledges both our proficiency in interpreting a difficult, confusing event and our commitment to preserving the site and its history,” Farmer said. “May 4, 1970, was a traumatic day for this campus, the nation and the world. Yet, the May 4 Visitors Center is a place of healing. With great care, we provide an honest account of an event that might be easier to ignore and we talk openly about tough topics that might be easier to avoid.”
Farmer described the honor as humbling.
The May 4 Visitors Center offers an educational walking tour to anyone interested in learning more about the historical significance of the May 4 events. The tour includes stops at locations where key moments took place. “This blending of physical space with educational materials is part of what makes the center such a unique and memorable experience,” the center said in a release.
Farmer cites the center’s commitment to education as an important aspect of its success.
“We are committed to the academic study of May 4, 1970, and its legacy so that every time a student, alumnus or visitor is asked about that fateful day, they have a thoughtful, evidence-based answer,” Farmer said. “In this way, the center serves as a powerful reminder that Kent State University is willing to learn from the past, however difficult, to shape the future.”
More information about Kent State’s May 4 Visitors Center can be found online at www.kent.edu/may4.