This started a year before Cartwright took office, in 1990, as the May 4 Memorial Center was completed, installed, dedicated and opened exactly 20 years after the tragic shootings occurred on the other side of Taylor Hall. The dedication took place at 11 a.m. and caused national media to descend onto campus.
Described by the Associated Press as, “an abstract plaza of waist-high, granite slabs and walkway,” the site is still visitable today. But even 30 years ago, students were unsure how to feel about the memorial.
Senior Tia Atchison worried, “I don’t know if people will come and realize what happened here. I don’t know if it’s enough.”
Some people, like 38-year-old graduate student Tim Kalil, still weren’t really convinced a memorial was necessary at all. Kalil blamed the memorial’s beginnings on the campus’s “leftover hippies,” adding that the university was getting more conservative because he’d “been here four years and there ain’t no pot parties, there ain’t no sex orgies.”
Kalil said he hadn’t been the site where the shootings took place 20 years prior and had no plans of changing that, finishing with, “We all want to put this behind us.”
The same year, scholarship funds were started in the names and memories of the four students killed during the May 4 shootings. Koren Kaviris and Rebecca Brady of Akron, Kimberly Williams of Warren, Ohio, and Lori Hartzell of Youngstown were the first recipients.