candidates visits not uncommon
Francis X. Bova III
the early 90s, Cleveland State hired Dennis Kucinich as a part-time
instructor in communications and political science. Years later, the
10th District congressman would run for president twice. So, the history
between CSU and presidential candidates is not as uncommon as one might
Since Fenn College became CSU in 1964, the university has witnessed
its own share of speeches, photo-ops and surprise visits from presidential
Perhaps the most memorable visit occurred in 1972 when then-Democratic
Presidential Candidate and Sen. George McGovern rallied students with
a speech on the steps of the Science building across from Fenn Tower.
who would lose the election in a landslide to incumbent Richard Nixon,
spoke out against the Vietnam War and Nixons affiliation with
the Watergate scandal.
Robert Sargent Shriver Jr. was the other half of the Democrat ticket.
I say that Richard Nixon owes the American people a full explanation
of these unprecedented activities, McGovern said in front of an
estimated crowd of nearly 1,000, according to a story in The Cauldron.
Weeks prior to his visit, professors on campus organized Educators
In August of 1974, Nixon would resign from the presidency because of
the Watergate scandal.
Years later, two former United States presidents visited the campus,
while one candidate whose named only appeared on 31 state ballots showed
On the eve of the 1996 presidential election, the Democratic ticket
of incumbent President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, a 2000
presidential candidate, were photographed holding Cleveland State sweatshirts
as then-CSU President Dr. Claire Van Ummersen stood in between them.
In 1984, Republican vice presidential candidate George H. W. Bush, the
1988 president-elect, surprised the campus with a half-hour jog around
the indoor track in Woodling Gym. Bush, who was in town to meet local
Republicans, sported an Ohio Reagan, Bush 84 T-shirt
during the impromptu workout.
Back in 1980, Barry Commoner, an environmentalist and presidential candidate
for the Citizens Party, gave a speech on campus.
But, a majority of CSU-related presidential candidates encounters
were experienced through third parties over the years.
In 1968, the Cleveland headquarters of then-Minnesota Sen. Eugene McCarthys
bid for the Democratic nomination was located on 2032 Euclid Ave.
On Oct. 29 1976, Sidney Kraus, then-chairman of the Communication Department,
gave a lecture on the Politics of the Great Debates. He
went on to write a book about attending the four presidential debates
that year between Democrat Jimmy Carter and Republican Gerald Ford.
The book, The Great Debates: Carter vs. Ford, 1976 was published
And Carters running mate that year, then-Minnesota Sen. Walter
Mondale, allowed three WCSB reporters to tag along on their campaigns
bus as it drove around Cleveland, along with other members of the media.