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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kent State & May 4: 1970 Grads Get Diplomas 40 Years After the Fact

Posted By on Tue, May 4, 2010 at 12:33 PM

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From the Huffington Post, news of seniors from the 1970 class that never got to walk to the state and grab their diplomas, who are now getting a chance to do just that.

For some graduating seniors of the Class of 1970, there would be no joyful mortarboard tosses, posing for photos with proud parents, or late-night celebration parties. They lost the chance to cram for final exams for a last boost to GPAs, or to say their good-byes to favorite professors and former roommates.

Until now. This spring, Lownsdale and other members of the Class of '70 will return to Cincinnati — or to Boston, or to Athens, Ohio — for the festive commencements they never had. Some will be accompanied by their parents, now elderly, or by grown-up children. Maybe they will find a chance to heal some old wounds.

"Even today, it evokes a lot of emotion," Lownsdale says. "There was a feeling of vulnerability ... all these years later, I'm still angry about it."

No one knows how many of the 1970 alumni will come back for the belated ceremonies. Meg Umlas, executive director of alumni relations at Boston University, says several hundred people, including family members, may attend that school's May 15-16 weekend. Ohio University and the University of Cincinnati will follow with gatherings in June.

"I think it's going to be a huge opportunity to get a sense of closure," says Roderick J. McDavis, Ohio University's president and himself a Class of '70 alum.

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