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Glen Schultz, Oral History
Recorded: November 1, 2017
Interviewed by Lae’l Hughes-Watkins
Transcribed by the Kent State University Research and Evaluation Bureau
[Interviewer]: This is Lae’l Hughes-Watkins speaking on November 1, 2017, at Kent State University Special Collections and Archives as part of the May 4 Oral History Project. I will be speaking with Glen Schultz. I would like to begin with a few biographical questions, Glen, and if you could let us know, where were you born?
[Glen Schultz]: I was born in South Bend, Indiana.
[Interviewer]: Did you grow up in South Bend?
[Glen Schultz]: Yes, until I came to college.
[Interviewer]: What brought you to Kent State University?
[Glen Schultz]: To study architecture, I was also an awardee for an athletic scholarship in swimming.
[Interviewer]: Can you recall, what were the prevailing attitudes among the students in the spring of 1970?
[Glen Schultz]: Well, I think that needs a little bit of retrospective. I came here in the fall of 1963 as a freshman. It was a five-year undergraduate program, and I graduated with a bachelor of architecture in ‘68 and then two more years with my master’s in May of 1970, with my master’s degree in architecture from Kent. So, I was here for seven years and it was quite an interesting change to see what happened in the campus. In the early Sixties, ‘63, it was—it was a very quiet place, but a wonderful comradery of students, and the students I was with were very helpful in helping us and get through the rigors of a curriculum in architecture. I was very fortunate to be awarded a scholarship after my graduation in 1968, so in—the fall of ‘69, actually the fall of ’68—I began the graduate program here and then observed—it was an interesting perspective because, as a graduate student, you’re looking a little differently at undergraduate students and you’re looking more to the other graduate students that you’re intermingling with. But, since there were only two of us in the master’s program in architecture because it was just beginning that year, the prevailing attitude was sort of more with the faculty and the older, upperclassmen undergraduate students, and just a few other graduate students that I interacted with.
The issue was interesting because the undergraduate in the mid-Sixties was really in the soft sciences. There weren’t really any—the science department really was started to teach teachers how to teach science and it was only starting to begin to put in more emphasis on some of the harder sciences. So, you had a school with a lot of soft sciences. Most of—maybe one of the harder sciences, what was the engineering being taught to architects. There was math and there was some sciences, but the big thing was happening was the Liquid Crystal Institute was just sort of formulating and getting its legs underneath it. You could just see this amazing change that was happening in the place. But, I think because it was more softer sciences than harder sciences, there was this tendency in class to have much more discussion about what was going on in the world and particularly in Vietnam.
[Interviewer]: Can you recall, or does anyone in particular stand out to you, as far as some of the speakers that were coming in at that time?
[Glen Schultz]: Well, I know that there were some people from the SDS that were coming, there were some people from the Black Panthers that were coming on campus, and it was just a fascinating time to listen and hear different things that, hey, growing up in the state of Indiana, you just never got exposed to. So, it was a fascinating time and a great time to experience a lot of different views from different people.
[Interviewer]: Since you were here around ‘68, ‘69 still, do you remember—I know that was a heavy protest period, there was like the BUS, Black United Students, walk-out and in ’68 —
[Glen Schultz]: Yeah, I remember some of that, yeah.
[Interviewer]: And then various other anti-war protests. Do you recall seeing or participating in any of those?
[Glen Schultz]: I didn’t participate in any of that; my focus was to get my master’s degree, so the rigors of that kept me really busy, but I do remember going to an SDS lecture. As I was at my teaching assistantship, I taught two undergraduate classes. I taught a freshman graphics class, and I taught a sophomore design class, and in my sophomore design class I had a member of the SDS as one of my students. He was a bright young man from New York and one of his colleagues took class, every class with him, and at the end of the semester—or end of the quarter at that time, I sort of asked—I think his name was Steve Drucker. I asked Steve, I said, “It’s interesting that every place you go, I see your colleague go.” And he said, “Yeah, he kind of protects me.”
[Interviewer]: Okay. So, you basically weren’t really politically active. Do you remember, or would you say your family had any discourse, though, still talking about Vietnam and the anti-war movement?
[Glen Schultz]: My parents came from very simple means. Not [college] educated, I think that was the case with a lot of students here. There were very few of my classmates that parents—I don’t think any of my classmates’ parents graduated from college or even went to college. I think that’s still a trend here today, that there are a lot of first-generation college attendees which is why I think you get this just wonderful crisp sensation of learning and discovering about the world because, you know, you’ve been sort of sheltered from some of that without having a lot of really academic discourse growing up with your parents except for what you got in high school. So, no, I wasn’t—there was very little political discussion in my family growing up. That was in the early Sixties and I came here in the fall of 1963 and then, in November ‘63, Kennedy was shot. I can remember going to my math class walking by the old student union to go to the math class in one of the buildings on front campus and there was a car there and it was a very warm day, the convertible top was down and the student driver had the radio turned on, and there were twenty or thirty people listening to the radio before I went to class. I thought it was very interesting. I got to class on time, the professor came in only a couple minutes late, verified that Kennedy had been shot but said, “The world has to go on, mathematics must survive,” and continued to teach her class in mathematics. I’ll never forget that.
[Interviewer]: Yeah, that seems like that would stick with you. So, even though you’re heavily immersed in your academics and coursework, do you recall or can you remember the environment in the city of Kent, did you spend any time amongst Kent residents?
[Glen Schultz]: Not a lot. There was always that town-gown separation there. With exception of just going down and frequenting bars and dancing and drinking a few beers, not too much interaction with town folks until I observed some things on that Friday night.
[Interviewer]: Do you remember—so we’ll go right into that—do you remember April 30th and the whole announcement about the invasion?
[Glen Schultz]: Well, I remember a little bit about that. Again, I was pretty sheltered from a lot of what was going on, except of what I read in the Stater and observed walking around campus and just heard through some discussions with other students and some of my undergraduate students that I was teaching. But, I remember on that Friday night driving to—driving with another—I thought he was, maybe a resident hall advisor or something. We went out to Stoddard’s to get frozen custard and, on the way back, I saw a townsperson with a rifle standing near a road that was barricaded that apparently was to go to the Kent water supply. It was a shock to me to see a person with a rifle, I’m assuming a townsperson, I have no idea because I just continue to drive right by after coming back from Stoddard’s Ice Cream. That this person was there with a rifle and the person that was driving the car said, “I think that person’s trying to guard the water supply.” That was just totally amazing to me, I just couldn’t believe that, I mean why? I didn’t see a parallel on why that needed to be done.
[Interviewer]: So, can you recall the next series of events, where you were, what you were doing in the days leading up to May 4?
[Glen Schultz]: Well, I think that was Parents’ Weekend. I think my—I think it was Parents’ Weekend, but my parents came to visit me. They came in on a Saturday and spent—I was living in an apartment off campus on Summit Street and I think they came on a Saturday. We did the normal—go out to dinner, how you doing, you know—and the next morning the ROTC Building was burned down on the 3rd. I remember walking around campus and taking my parents out to see the burned-out ROTC Building. And then they left to drive home and on that Sunday afternoon, I went back up to Taylor Hall to work on my master’s thesis project. That evening, I was listening to—I think I was listening to the radio station and they were covering a sit-down on Route 5 on front campus where the students were—closed off the street. I think that they might have done that on—I think they tried to do that on Saturday night, too, although I’m not sure of that. But, on Sunday night, I remember listening to that, and I was working in the graduate studio on the third floor of Taylor Hall. The radio station was covering the confrontation on Main Street. But again, I was focused just really on studying that night. There was a young lady who was up there studying also, and you can sense that there was a little tension on campus because, every once in a while, you could hear the helicopters going by.
But, we had no sense that there was a fear factor that night. We were just there studying. It was probably—I don’t know 10 or 11 o’clock on Sunday night of May 3rd that we left Taylor Hall and, as soon as we got out the door of Taylor Hall, the helicopter shined this huge, big spotlight on us as we were leaving Taylor Hall. There was a sound of a guy saying, “You have to leave campus,” or “You have to get away,” or something like that. This girl who was with me was absolutely petrified, and we ran toward Prentice Hall and someone on the first floor of Prentice Hall opened the window and she jumped in the window of Prentice Hall because she was so scared, and I ran back up and spent the rest of the night in Taylor Hall. Studied until late at night and just slept in a chair or something for a couple hours. Then, I remember getting up the next morning, it was a bright, beautiful bright May 4th day in the morning. I remember walking to Prentice Hall cafeteria to have breakfast and then I came back and I had a class that I went to in the morning and then I could get into the whole part of what happened the rest of the day, which I have a piece that I can share with you later.
[Interviewer]: So, we can move into that statement that you want to share.
[Glen Schultz]: Should we?
[Glen Schultz]: Okay, this is a description of the incidents on the Kent campus on Monday, May 4, 1970. I wrote this when I was in the Graduate School of Architecture in Taylor Hall. I’m going to read this, it’s about five or six pages long, but I wrote this basically as a catharsis for me after the May 4th shootings. I wrote this between May 5 and May 7, 1970 in my apartment on Summit Street. And I started out on the first page saying:
[Glen Schultz begins reading from written statement]
This is meant to be only a description of the events as I saw them. It is hoped that it will be of help to someone, I know not who, but I hope that my thoughts, reflections, and descriptions will help to clear up some of the vagueness of the past actions by both the students and the National Guard. I feel that my thoughts and judgements may be clearer than those more emotionally involved because of my position of being a graduate teaching assistant. This position puts me in a place as a link between the undergraduates and the full-time faculty and administrators. Therefore, I feel that in this description I hopefully considered both sides fully. I must impress upon you that all times that I’ve given here are approximate but the timespans between the mentioned hours is as close as I can to estimate.
[Glen Schultz pauses his reading from written statement]
[Glen Schultz]: So, because there was so much confusion going on right after this happened and people were, you know, saying that the students were doing this so the Guards were doing this; I wrote this trying to be very fair to both sides. So, it begins:
[Glen Schultz continues to read from written statement]
After the May 4th morning graduate architecture class, my class of four plus a friend decided to go to the KSU Union commuters’ cafeteria for lunch. When we left Taylor Hall at about 11:45 a.m. for our trek across the Commons, we saw a few, about twenty to thirty students gathering for the supposed-to-be held noon rally. We soon realized that we could not take the direct path to the Union because of the fence around the burned ROTC Building. We then went around Engleman Hall to the Union where we received yellow leaflets describing a write-in, discussing a senate roll call to stop the war in Cambodia. We then entered the Union and went to the commuter cafeteria and then through the line. At this time, about 11:55 a.m., quite a few people, and I’m estimating 200-300, were gathering on the hill in front of Taylor Hall and more were coming. While eating and looking out the window, we saw the group expand to about 2,000 or 2,500 but most were on the periphery. There were only about 500-700 on either side of the bell on the Commons on the hill.
The people in the cafeteria were aware of something going on outside. Except for the few who were curious and went to the windows to look out, all others tried to go about a normal lunch routine. We all talked at lunch about projections of the afternoon ahead, about what we were going to do, but we were unsure of the situations outside. I think it worried all of us. From time to time, one of the group got up to look outside. The students outside were not moving. It looked like one of them was trying to speak near the bell, but we couldn’t hear what they were saying. A few minutes later, we heard a bullhorn in the distance but could not distinguish it. This was followed by noise from the students on the hill, but this also was unintelligible.
The Guard near us, around the ROTC Building, had bayonets and gas masks on. They were calm and were holding their position. After we finished eating, we looked out the window toward the Commons, it was almost 12:20. Immediately next to me was Professor Glenn Frank, someone next to him said, “Well, now Rhodes has a seat in the senate, those stupid kids just elected him.” The line of Guard in front of the Union now had their gas masks off, but still had their bayonets fixed. In the distance, on the Commons, we saw tear gas smoke and a line of about twenty to thirty Guardsmen with guns at port arms with gas masks on. The group on the hill by the bell had already dispersed when the Guard headed, still in formation, toward the knoll between Johnson and Taylor Halls. We were far too removed to hear anything being said. They reached the crest of the hill and some students, maybe fifty to a hundred, started following behind the Guard as spectators. The student spectators around the edge of the Commons now began to move in all directions as if to break up. It appeared that the show was over.
At this time, we left the cafeteria, out the doors facing the Commons and onto the patio. People were moving in the direction of the tennis courts to the left. Once outside, the atmosphere of the day had changed to one of calm. It appeared as if everyone was dispersing in all directions. The Guard in our immediate vicinity were talking to students. A student asked one of the Guardsmen how long he would have to stay in Kent. His reply, “Until this thing was over.”
The students in our area were moving and looking around. While the mood was that at least the rally was over, my thoughts turned to what possibility would happen that evening. Our group of five left the patio at about 12:21 and, thinking that everything was over, decided to head back to Taylor Hall via the most direct route, the Commons.
Believe me, if there had been anything—had been any sign of any continued disturbance in the area—we would not have attempted to cross the Commons. There was nothing to indicate that anything serious would happen. But strangely enough, as we started to cross the Commons, one of our group suggested that we stay together, therefore reflecting a mood of possible continued confrontation. The next seventy-five to a hundred feet we walked in silence. The sun was shining, and it was warm. I took my jacket off.
Apparently, there was still the idea of excitement in the air. There was an unnatural mood on the campus, like a contest going on. The excitement of a new passing act. The students were real, they wanted to express themselves, but they did not know how. A lot of them probably rejected Nixon’s move of the previous week but did not know how strongly. They wanted to talk, to knock it about, sort of what college is supposed to be like. It was like they were coming for a large lecture to be followed by a question and answer period on the Commons.
We then observed a group of students trying to ring the bell on the Commons as a means to regroup the leaving students. Then, about five to seven Guardsmen came down the hill from the direction of Prentice Hall and quickly dispersed that group. They had fixed bayonets on and no gas masks. We then saw a student run down from the Taylor/Johnson Hall area, ring the bell while running, and then take off towards us. The time was about 12:22. It was at this time that one of the Guardsmen lowered his teargas gun and aimed it at the fleeting student. The soldier then hesitated for a split-second and fired a teargas canister at us. The canister landed about ten feet in front of us and bounced behind us by about six feet [narrator's correction: six yards]. Our reaction was one of hostility and indignity toward the Guard. For we, as innocent bystanders, were now on the firing line. We could not believe it, why us? We were only returning to our classroom building for our afternoon classes. Because of the actions of one, five others were wrongly assumed to be agitators. We ran, dispersed from the group in the direction of the Johnson Hall parking lot. I stopped when I reached the sidewalk in front of the lot. My thoughts were to get away from the Guard and to get to Taylor Hall for protection.
There is no doubt in my mind that this action precipitated more hostility toward the Guard, not only among the students, but among our group. This hostility was now expressed by the surrounding students with obscenities directed toward the Guard.
From the sidewalk, I looked back at where I’d come and saw the canister land near the Guard by the bell. This was apparently thrown back by a student. The Guard around the bell dispersed and headed up the hill toward Prentice Hall. The obscenities continued from the crowd. At this time, a student on the sidewalk in front of Taylor Hall was pointing his finger at the Guard and shouting. The student started to run down the hill, as if to try to make it to the bell to ring it, then tried to retreat quickly, but was caught by a Guard who hit the student with his nightstick on the back, shoulders, and across the head. The students were yelling. I was awestruck. I could not believe such a thing was happening. The student broke away and, making his way to Taylor Hall, ran inside as shouting by the students continued.
The mood of the students was now one of hatred toward the Guard and even I thought this way. Things were tense. The girls were yelling obscenities and the guys seemed like they were trying to prepare to do something physical, but they did not. The instinct was to react against the Guard. The girls verbally and the guys physically, but there was not anything to do this with. The Guard retreated toward Prentice as our group split.
The gas was now very noticeable, and I put my coat over my mouth and nose. I thought to myself that this would never have happened if the Guardsman had initially shown more restraint. He overreacted. Two other members of our group and I headed for the Taylor Hall door on the Commons side. There were about thirty to fifty people behind us shouting and asking if the student struck by the Guardsman was all right. I was walking very fast because the gas was getting bad. I feared to run because it would also show too much movement and the possibility of a charge against the Guard. At Taylor Hall, we were greeted by about eight students who opened the door and let us in. I did not see the student who was hit, I was trying to regain my breath.
My thoughts now turned to the students moving toward Taylor. The Guard, I thought, was probably, by now, around the Prentice Hall side. But what if all the students came into Taylor Hall? Would they try to occupy the building, and would destruction take place? Or would the Guard enter? Heading up the first flight of stairs, I thought I had better check to see if the faculty offices on the third floor were locked. I also was about to lock the third-floor fire door when I heard, bang…bang…bang. I turned around and one of the group of about five students said, “Firecrackers.” I assumed he was right. They were not firecrackers.
Thinking they were, I proceeded with haste to lock up the offices and the other stairwell. As I was closing the stairwell, a student whose face was completely white, except for tremendously purple cheeks (possibly slapped), desperately said to me, “Someone is shot, where’s the phone?” He called the ambulance from the faculty office.
I could not believe it when I looked out the third-floor classroom windows of Taylor Hall. There, lying on the ground for not more than a minute, were students who had been shot. Two in the parking lot, one in the street by the parking gate, and one in the back toward the practice field. Another by the sculpture and another close to the three evergreen trees. There was complete confusion, no one knew what to do. I was never so shaken in my life. I just stood there in shock. What actions could have justified such reaction?
Nothing that I had previously seen could have surely justified the shootings, could they? I saw no snipers and heard no previous shots but, remember, I had entered the building about a minute before the shots were fired. The volley of shots which I did hear seemed to start and stop at one time. They started as if someone had given a command. The scene was yet in front of me as I looked out over the area in front of Taylor Hall. Sidewalks, asphalt, grass, a splotchy, grass-covered, old football practice field. And to the right, a grassy, tree-covered knoll where the students would sit, relax, study, and where I held a class or two. Now, it was frantic with students in disbelief. No help had arrived yet. As I looked at my watch, the time was about 12:30.
The ambulance came from the Johnson Hall side and stopped on the sidewalk about twenty feet from the sculpture. There was a student lying at the base of the sculpture. Apparently, he had sought it for protection. The sculpture had a bullet hole and so did the adjacent tree. The ambulance men ran with a stretcher as another ambulance came from the other direction. More men ran from it. People were now pointing and yelling, “Here, here!” Along with the second ambulance came Professor Frank to help the injured students. The students helped the ambulance men load the wounded into the stretchers and carry them to the ambulance. The apparent dead were taken last. The students dispersed but the curious looked on. Now only visual remains were left, the blood on the grass, the sidewalks, and the asphalt.
I left the window and headed upstairs to the large drafting studio for the undergraduates in Taylor Hall. From here, I could see the Guard again around the burned ROTC Building and the students again forming on the hill. The hostility seemed to turn to anger, but a subdued anger. A speaker and students gathered about forty yards from the Johnson Hall parking lot on the Commons. The students began to follow, and sit, and listen. I don’t know what the speaker said since I was still in Taylor Hall. The Guard just stood by this time.
In about thirty minutes, the students dispersed when they saw three armored personnel carriers come into view. They came back toward Taylor Hall. At approximately this time, a skirmish line of Guards, bayonets fixed, came up from the direction of Memorial Gymnasium and between Johnson and Taylor Halls. They cut the force of students in two without incident. The Guard went to the Commons and paraded in a circle, and then the men stood at ease. More students dispersed, but some were going to stay. Some just to look and others, well, I don’t know what they wanted to do.
If we can describe students by visual appearance, which I hesitate to do, there was a mixture of all types. Some setting up first aid stations, others ripping sheets and putting them on their arms, one student had a bucket of water and was handing out moist cloths to students. A large white sheet with a red cross hastily painted on it was hung on the chimney between Johnson and Stopher Halls. In my mind, I’ve not been able to figure out what purpose all this Red Cross paraphernalia was for. For about an hour, while students’ Red Cross teams were being established, the students just watched the National Guard and the National Guard just watched the students. The only exception was a futile attempt to have another speaker talk to the dispersed students. Still, not too many left until a group of State Highway Patrol officers—twenty to thirty—marched in formation to the edge of the Johnson Hall parking lot. The students moved toward the small knoll between Johnson and Taylor where the Guards had earlier marched. They waited quietly near the top. There was no reaction from the police.
After a few minutes, a group of three faculty with bullhorns approached the students and told them to go home. They also said the university had been closed for a week but that their lives were in danger if they remained. They left slowly as if showing a coherency to carry out on a protest for their four slain classmates.
I left the window and went to my office where I packed my thesis material and headed for my apartment. The last thing I did that day was to write on the board of the graduate studio in Taylor Hall, “We’ve left, but will return.”
--Glen Schultz, May 5th-7th, 1970. Graduate Assistant, School of Architecture, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio.
[Glen Schultz concludes reading his written statement]
[Interviewer]: Thank you so much for adding that statement to the record. At this time, I would like to ask you one more question.
[Glen Schultz]: Sure.
[Interviewer]: Do you think your views of what happened on May 4 and the days leading up to it, has anything changed in the last forty-six plus years?
[Glen Schultz]: I’d say what I wrote, I still feel pretty strongly that that was correct in what happened. That, you know, you can look at what you think and it was very strong where I stated there was overreaction by the Guard but, remember, I didn’t see all the things the students were doing and didn’t hear everything that was being said to them either. So, I think that there were issues on both sides. But, to certainly go to the extreme of pulling a trigger and killing people, certainly not—should never happen, absolutely should never happen. And I think that goes back to Rhodes and Sylvester Del Corso not handling their—not doing the leadership that they needed to show for the state and the Guardsmen.
[Interviewer]: Is there anything else you would like to add at this time?
[Glen Schultz]: This piece was lost for about thirty years and I just discovered it last year and I shared it last summer with the director of the university—the museum in the first floor of Taylor Hall and I just want to thank you for the chance to come and to share this. It’s a relief.
[Interviewer]: I would like to say thank you so much for sharing your story with us and, at this time, I would like to conclude our interview.
[Glen Schultz]: Thank you.×
Student at Kent State University in 1970
|Date of Interview||
Glen Schultz was a graduate student studying architecture at Kent State University in 1970. He had begun his studies at Kent State as a freshman in 1963 and discusses what life on campus was like and how things were changing over the course of his time as a student. He reads from a statement that he wrote between May 5-7, 1970, in which he conveys his detailed eyewitness account of the events of May 4.
|Length of Interview||
|Time Period discussed||
Armored personnel carriers
Del Corso, Sylvester T.
Drumm, Don, 1935-. Solar Totem #1
Frank, Glenn W.
Kent State Shootings, Kent, Ohio, 1970
Kent State University. Blanket Hill
Kent State University. Engleman Hall
Kent State University. Johnson Hall
Kent State University. Prentice Hall
Kent State University. ROTC Building
Kent State University. School of Architecture
Kent State University. Student Union
Kent State University. Taylor Hall
Kent State University. Victory Bell
Ohio State Highway Patrol
Ohio. Army National Guard
Rhodes, James A. (James Allen), 1909-2001
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Kent State University
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