Bill Ayers scheduled as guest of Allen Hall program

By Kathleen Foody

Bill Ayers is among the visitors scheduled to participate in Allen Hall’s Guest-In-Residence program.

The program schedules various figures from unique backgrounds to live in the residence hall for several days and interact with students through presentations or discussions.

Ayers works as an education professor at the University of Illinois’ Chicago campus but became the focus of media and public scrutiny during the 2008 presidential campaign.

Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s campaign pointed to Ayers’ past as a cofounder of the Weather Underground, a group responsible for a series of bombings in the 1970s, and attempted to draw ties between Ayers and president-elect Barack Obama. No evidence was produced to support the claim and both Ayers and Obama denied having a close relationship.

Ayers has made several visits to the In-Residence program before, solo in 2001-2002, and with Bernardine Dohrn, another former leader of the Weather Underground, in 2004-2005.

Past guests to the program have included investigative journalist Jimmie Briggs, Patch Adams and novelist Tariq Ali.