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Rio student researching social activist who visited campus

Oct. 18, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

More than 40 years ago, famed social activist and politician Abbie Hoffman paid a visit to the University of Rio Grande/Rio Grande Community College to meet with students and faculty.

Hoffman was a powerful national figure in the 1960s and 1970s. Now, a Rio Grande student is researching Hoffman's visit to campus in the hopes of creating a theatrical production based on the visit.

Lucas Lawrence, who is a sophomore from Patriot, Ohio, is working on the project with Greg Miller, Ph.D., director of cultural advancement at Rio Grande.

In 1969, Hoffman was in Ohio for a student rally at Antioch College. A Rio Grande student traveled to Antioch College hoping to see Hoffman and to attempt to talk the social activist into visiting the school. Hoffman agreed to come to campus with the student, and then spent the night at Rio Grande.

Lawrence has read about Hoffman's visit to campus, and he is now looking for any alumni or area residents who might have met Hoffman during his time at Rio Grande. He wants to hear about what the students, faculty or area residents of the time may have thought of Hoffman during his time on campus, and he would like to learn more about the visit.

Depending on the information he receives, Lawrence is then hoping to turn the stories from alumni and area residents into a theatrical production. Any dates for such a production will be publicized at a later date.

Rio Grande has been able to successfully create several other theatrical productions in this manner recently. The show, "That Was Bob," for example, is based on stories from family members and friends of the late Bob Evans.

Currently, Lawrence is working with the title of "The Night Abbie Hoffman Spent at Rio Grande," for his show, but the title may develop along with the story as he hears from different alumni and area residents.

The visit to campus made an impression on Hoffman, as he mentions it in his book, "Woodstock Nation," and it likely made an impression on Rio Grande alumni and area residents.

Anyone who would like to share their stories with Lawrence, or would like more information on the project is invited to call Miller at 800-282-7201 or send him an email at gmiller@rio.edu.

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