Co-creator of May 4 Visitors Center dies

DKS Staff

Carole Barbato, a Kent State professor emeritus who was active in the creation of the May 4 Visitors Center on campus, died Wednesday at 64, the Record-Courier reported.

Barbato was a junior on May 4, 1970, when four students were shot and killed and nine were wounded by the Ohio National Guard during a protest on campus.

She had told the Daily Kent Stater in previous interviews she felt a responsibility to represent the students who died, and she said she enjoyed meeting victims’ families.

“I always love to hear from the families,” she told the Daily Kent Stater last year before the May 4 commemoration. “I always find that very heartwarming. I love to hear the anecdotes about the four people who were killed … It personalizes the messages.”

The visitors center won two awards earlier this semester — the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Ohio Local History Alliance and one for a film in the gallery.

Barbato and Laura Davis also co-taught Kent State’s May 4 course for 13 years. Barbato, according to previous Stater stories, was also a part of getting the location of the shooting on the National Register of Historic Places in 2010.

The family is in the process of arranging the funeral, the Record-Courier reported.