Kent State is remembering a pioneer in the campaign for LGBTQ rights. The university has announced that Dolores Noll has died at the age of 88.
In 1972, Noll taught one of the first LGBTQ Studies courses ever to be offered at Kent. Noll was an English teacher at the school on May 4th, 1970. In a 2010 interview with WKSU, Noll talked about how she narrowly missed the shooting and how that experience lead her to accept her sexuality. Noll said she saw an opportunity to come out when the school established its experimental college a few months after that.
“I knew there would be people who stuck up for me. And I said there’s only one way for people to get ready for – you’ve got to push them. They’re not going to change if you don’t. I thought if something happens, I’ll fight it. And so I decided ‘What the heck’ I’d go ahead and sign up to talk to a class, and I came out in the class.”
Noll taught LGBTQ Studies up until her retirement in 1984. A memorial for her has been scheduled for February 11th at the Kent State LGBTQ Student Center.