Miami Presents: News from 1970! Student Cultures, the Vietnam War, and Birth of the Public Ivy

Presented on: April 23rd at 12:00 PM EDT

Alumni Weekend



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On April 15, 1970, students staged a sit-in at Rowan Hall to protest ROTC on campus during the Vietnam War. It absorbed other grievances, resulted in 176 suspensions, passive resistance, mass arrests, and a police action featuring tear gas and dogs. Mass rallies, a student/faculty strike, and draining the town's water tower followed. The National Guard was deployed to Oxford but never came to campus. Then in May, events at Kent State earned Ohio notoriety and prompted President Shriver to close all Miami campuses. After the university reopened, students were added to governance bodies, grading and curriculum were reformed, and student life regulations liberalized. The Rowan Hall occupation was a turning point in Miami history because in years that followed, students, faculty and administrators together created a different kind of campus than had previously existed. Dr. Curt Ellison is professor emeritus of history and American studies, and editor of Miami University, 1809-2009: Bicentennial Perspectives. His other publications include Country Music Culture: From Hard Times to Heaven and the forthcoming Industrial Strength Bluegrass: Southwestern Ohio’s Musical Legacy. The length of this webinar is approximately one hour.