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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

McCluskey Plans to Have Universities Across US Offer 1970 Grads the Commencement Ceremony, If They Didn’t Have It and Want It

It is your last semester of college. You have visions of the end — graduation day, the cap and gown, pomp and circumstance plays is your head, thoughts of saying goodbye to your friends, hugs and kisses from your relatives, a tear drops on the page and suddenly you awake to hear: “school is closed … no more classes …. leave town immediately, this is an order.”
But what about graduation?

Almost fifty years later Mary Fran McCluskey asks the question again: What about graduation? “I have waited 50 years to walk across that stage. I feel slighted and what about the other kids in the 50 other schools in the nation that closed. McCluskey attended Southern Illinois University and was scheduled to graduate 10 June1970

In the case of Mary Fran McCluskey, Southern Illinois University is negotiating to have that graduation ceremony for her classmates. It is tentatively scheduled for 2020 – 50 years overdue, in June, at Homecoming.

Why did they close?
It was time of the protests of the Vietnam War. The protests were a reaction to the shooting of four students at Kent State University by National Guardsmen during a campus demonstration about President Nixon’s decision to send U.S. and South Vietnamese troops into Cambodia. Four days later, a student rally at Jackson State College in Mississippi resulted in the death of two students and 12 wounded when police opened fire on a women’s dormitory.Hundreds of colleges and universities across the nation shut down as thousands of students joined a nationwide campus protest.

Governor Ronald Reagan closed the entire California university and college system from 6 May to 11 May, which affected more than 280,000 students on 28 campuses.

Elsewhere, faculty and administrators joined students in active dissent and 536 campuses were shut down completely, 51 for the rest of the academic year. A National Student Association spokesman reported students from more than 300 campuses were boycotting classes.

Now, let’s fix it
That was what it was like in 1970. Mary Fran McCluskey has started a national plan to have graduation ceremonies at the other 50 universities that closed … 50 years later. “Our goal is for every student who was not able to graduate with his 1970 class to take part in a graduation ceremony, if he wishes,” she said. SIU is the first college to plan a commencement for their 1970 grads.

The McCluskey Project aims to locate each of these universities and work with them to graduate their 1970 classes perhaps in 2020 — 50 years later. . If you know of any of these universities or are a member of the class of 1970, who received a degree but did not have a graduation ceremony, please contact: info@1970CommencementProject.org
to learn more.

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