2 wounded Kent State students to speak at commencements

KENT, Ohio (AP) — Two Kent State students shot and wounded by members of the Ohio National Guard on May 4, 1970, have been selected as commencement speakers at the university this spring.

Dean Kahler will deliver the undergraduate commencement address on May 9, and Thomas Grace will address graduates at the advanced degree ceremony on May 8, The Ravenna Record-Courier reported.

Kahler was a freshman when guardsmen shot him in the spine during a volley of gunfire that killed four students, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. He later returned to the campus and earned an education degree in 1977.

He spent 15 years as a teacher, worked for several state agencies and served two terms as an Athens County commissioner. He’s now retired.

Grace, a sophomore and an ardent anti-war activist, was shot in the foot. He was transported in the same ambulance that carried Sandy Scheuer, one of the students killed that day.

After a career as a union organizer, Grace earned a doctorate degree and now teaches history at the State University of New York Erie Community College.

Kent State President Todd Diacon said the men are “the perfect choice” as commencement speakers during the school’s May 4 50th commemorative year.