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May 4 Collection - Box 134
Prepared by Katy L. Watts, December 19, 2005; Revised June 2017
Inclusive Dates: 1968-1983
Bulk Dates: 1968-1973
Extent: 1.0 cubic foot (1 record storage box)
Physical Location: 12th floor; oversized materials are shelved in map case
Biographical Note: B. Earle Roberts was born on July 25, 1930. He earned a B.S. and M.A. from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, and served for two years as Police Chief in Battle Creek, Michigan. Roberts began teaching at Kent State University in the Department of Political Science in 1965. In 1970, he became Chairman of the newly formed Department of Criminal Justice Studies.
Roberts served on a number of committees following the Kent State shootings of May 4, 1970. He was a trustee for the Kent Students Medical Fund, participated in the Kent Community for Non-Violent Change, and was a member of the Committee for Non-Violence, which established the peace marshals on campus at Kent State. Roberts’ most prominent role was as the chair of the Campus Security Advisory Committee, an organization he helped to establish that aimed to provide direction for improving the University’s security and police department. Later in his career, Roberts became chair of the Presidential Commission on Ethics and Values in the Curriculum, creating ethics guidelines to ease the tension between religious and professional group on campus.
Roberts retired from full-time teaching at Kent State in 1985, and became an Emeritus Professor of Criminal Justice Studies in 1986.
Scope and Content: This collection mainly documents Roberts’ role as a faculty member involved in many committees and commissions related to campus security following the Kent State shootings. Roberts held positions on the following committees: Campus Security Advisory Committee (CSAC), Commission on Campus Security (CCS), Committee for Non-Violence (CNV), Kent Community for Non-Violent Change (KCNC), Kent Students Medical Fund (KSMF), and the Presidential Commission on Ethics and Values in the Curriculum (PCEVC). The papers also include materials related to the Black United Students (BUS) Walkout in 1968, the Kent State shootings and their aftermath, the 1978 Commemoration of May 4, and two student research papers related to campus security and law enforcement at Kent State University.
Arrangement: This collection is organized into the following series. Materials within each series are arranged alphabetically by format.
Restrictions on Access: Some information included in this collection is restricted due to the presence of information protected by privacy laws. This information has been redacted where present on documents in the collection. Un-redacted originals, in all cases, have been retained by Special Collections and Archives.
Sponsor: Digitization of this collection was funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. Digitization of the audio materials in this collection was supported by a Recordings at Risk grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The grant program is made possible by funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
May 4 Collection - Box 134
Folder -- Contents
Series 1: Black United Students (BUS) Walkout
Scope and Content: Includes materials related to the mass Black student walkout of November 1968, led by members of Black United Students (BUS), to demonstrate against the presence of recruiters for the police force in Oakland, California on campus at Kent State University. This event is often referred to as the “BUS Walkout.”
Series 2: Kent State Shootings and Aftermath
Scope and Content: This series contains materials generated immediately following the Kent State shootings, including correspondence, leaflets, a program and statement for a memorial service, and news clippings.
Series 3: Committees and Commissions
Scope and Content: Contains materials created by committees and commissions on which B. Earle Roberts served, including correspondence, clippings, meeting minutes, notes, press releases, proposals, reports, and statements.
Campus Security Advisory Committee (CSAC)
Commission on Campus Security (CCS)
Committee for Non-Violence (CNV)
Kent Community for Non-Violent Change (KCNC)
Kent Students Medical Fund (KSMF)
Presidential Commission on Ethics and Values in the Curriculum (PCEVC)
Series 4: 1978 May 4 Commemoration
Scope and Content: Includes materials related to the 1978 Commemoration of May 4, 1970, which involved disagreements among members of the Kent State community on how the commemoration should be planned.