Kent State to pay Jane Fonda $83,000 to speak during May 4 commemoration

Kent State will pay Academy Award-winning actress and activist Jane Fonda $83,000 to speak during the 50th commemoration of May 4.

“Her speaking fee is consistent with other speakers both at Kent State and other universities,” Executive Director of University Media Relations Eric Mansfield said in an email. “The enthusiasm of those wishing to attend her speech is evident as all 4,000+ tickets were downloaded within 36 hours of the announcing [of] her event.”

According to an email sent to the Kent community on Feb. 10, the university will hold a weekend of events with “each day emphasizing a different focus about the May 4 story.” 

Fonda will speak on Sunday, May 3, the day focused on “remembering the 50-year legacy of May 4,” as part of the Presidential Speaker Series. During her speech, she will “discuss her life in social activism and reflect on the history and legacy of the events of May 4, 1970.”

According to the May 4 commemoration website, the university chose Fonda to speak “based on her past connections with Kent State University and her long legacy of activism,”  

Preceding Fonda’s speech on May 3 is a dedication ceremony and keynote luncheon with speaker Eric Foner. Following Fonda’s speech and ending the day is the annual candlelight march and vigil. 

Becca Sagaris is a general assignment reporter. Contact her at [email protected].