For me, Lillian Gish put BGSU on the map!

SPOILER WARNING !!!, this material is related to the attack that targeted Miss Lillian Gish and her sister Dorothy, their reputation and memory.

From: Adrian Paul Botta <>
Date: March 17, 2019 at 8:21:31 AM EDT
To: Rodney Rogers <>,,,
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Keep Gish name, respect American History!

My name is Adrian Paul Botta, even if I’m more than ten thousand miles away, I’m very sad and frustrated after reading all that is happening at Bowling Green State University. I grew up as a poor kid behind the Iron Courtain in the seventies. First time I’ve had the chance to see Miss Lillian Gish was in a old Cinema Magazine and since then I’m in love with her memory, trying to find out facts from her prodigious career. So I read about her childhood in Springfield, Massillon, then Baltimore, her ascension and her ups, and downs known being the fact that actors of that era were the main propaganda instruments. Miss Lillian Gish, a career that span over eighty years, more than we “mortals” have lived biologically.


So I’ve heard of Dr.Ralph Haven Wolfe and his initiative to invite Miss Lillian to visit BGSU. After she kindly accepted that a theater, a student workshop would bear her name, she donated memorabilia and with generous contribution from many personalities like Tom Hanks, Sally Field, Eva Marie Saint, another photographic collection from Museum of Modern Art found a home at BGSU – Gish Theater.

Thus Miss Gish put for me on the map Bowling Green State University. Never heard of that Institution before, kindly forgive me but it’s not so renown as Yale, Harvard, West Point or some other well known universities from the civilised world.


To make the long story short, for me as European is very hard to comprehend what’s happening with the Gish Film Theater. She brought BGSU name in world attention, linking it to her fame. She ACCEPTED for the theater to bear her name. For her, a lot of personalities made donations, funds for expanding the theater.

Suddenly a group of wannabe’s decided to enter through hystory’s back door destroying a reputation, a memory of one of the greatest personalities in American culture, the so called “American Institution”. By the way this brings in my memory that fellow who shot in 1980 John Lennon in the back, (Dakota Building archway). “Grand” way to write one’s name in the History Book.

Gish 2 X Theater

Now if I’m not mistaking, Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize was presented to a number of African American artists, among them Spike Lee, who received 300.000 US Dollars for “Malcolm X”. And if I remember correctly, Lee accepted the prize.


Kindly consider my opinion as many others from a lot of different countries. I believe Miss Lillian Gish represents America, (for me certainly does, the better part of America anyway). It’s not enough that only some of the Gish museum is on display in the Union, the rest of it is in the archives – the Jerome Library and in the Brown Pop Culture Library? Her legacy torn apart, certain amount of contributors investment lost …


The Union theater also does not have the historical significance of the Gish, as Lillian Gish had visited BGSU when the theater was first dedicated to her. The Gish has been a symbol for film culture and history for over 40 years. It was a workshop, where young artists could compare and debate their work as well. I close this letter with a heavy heart, hoping that common sense will prevail, and BGSU will remain a neutral cultural institution, dedicated to provide opportunities for different views.

Above letter (edited) was published by Toledo Blade on March 31, 2019 as follows:

Toledo Blade - Letters to the editor - March 31 2019

The Gish Theater Saga


Back to Lillian Gish Home page

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Lillian Gish autographed - 1920s
Lillian Gish autographed – 1920s

Back to Lillian Gish Home page

The Gish Theater Saga

Back to Lillian Gish Home page