William Wilen Oral History
@ Kent State University
DescriptionWilliam Wilen was a Ph.D. candidate studying at Pennsylvania State University and, in April 1970, had accepted a teaching position at Kent State University beginning in the fall. He describes how the news of the May 4, 1970, shootings on the Kent State campus affected him. He talks about his first year teaching at Kent State, 1970-1971. He discusses the challenges he faced when the student teachers he was supervising experienced negative reactions from faculty at their practice schools because they were from Kent State. He describes his observations of and participation in the first commemoration of the shootings in May, 1971. He heard the speakers Julian Bond, Dick Gregory, and Allen Ginsberg. He describes the black arm bands students were selling, May Day signs in dorm windows, the demonstrations at Rockwell Hall, and helicopters circling over campus.