Clery Center Celebrates 25th Anniversary of Jeanne Clery Act

‘Looking Back, Moving Forward’ marks 25th anniversary of historic legislation that changed landscape of campus safety by ensuring accountability of colleges and universities.

WAYNE, PA.  – The Clery Center for Security on Campus recently celebrated its 25th anniversary in Washington, D.C., with nearly 200 attendees and participants. The event, “Looking Back, Moving Forward,” marked the 25th anniversary of the passage of the Jeanne Clery Act, a federal statute passed in 1990 that requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on and near their respective campuses. 

View photos of the event.

“Campus security continues to be a relevant issue today as much as it was 25 years ago as we join many to rightfully question the safety on our college campuses,” says Alison Kiss, executive director of the Clery Center. “We must continue our efforts to create safer campuses and advocate for public policy initiatives that to promote campus safety. We work alongside colleges and universities in helping them outline the process followed when a student reports a sexual assault; what procedures students and faculty should follow during an active shooter situation; and programs on campus that build a safer and more informed campus community.”

The conference featured nationally renowned experts highlighting research and programs that have demonstrated success in improving campus safety. Catherine Lhamon, assistant secretary for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Education, who served as the keynote, discussed how participants can exhibit leadership in the field and move towards building healthy campus communities across the nation.

One of the biggest highlights of the conference was the dual award presentation of the Jeanne Clery Campus Safety Award by Connie Clery, mother of the late Jeanne Clery and co-founder of the Clery Center for Security on Campus. Established in 1994, the award is presented each year by the Clery Center to honor institutions and individuals that have done extraordinary things to make college and university students safer. Clery presented the award to Lynn Rosenthal, vice president of strategic partnerships for the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and to Sergeant Christopher Houtz, detective at the Lehigh University Police Department in Bethlehem, Pa.

Rosenthal was recognized for her work, having served as the first-ever White House advisor on violence against women. As a senior advisor to Vice President Joe Biden, she developed new initiatives to address sexual violence, reduce domestic violence homicides and improve the workplace response to violence against women. She co-chaired the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault and was a key architect of its recommendations.

Sergeant Christopher Houtz was recognized for his dedication to campus safety at Lehigh University, the same school that Jeanne Clery had attended. A law enforcement officer with Lehigh’s police department for more than14 years, Sergeant Houtz serves as advisor to the Lehigh’s emergency medical services group, and has been recognized on more than one occasion as Officer of the Year, a distinction awarded to the officer who best enhances the quality of life to the Lehigh community by providing a secure and safe environment through professional services, education and communication.

The event also featured a special, dual presentation by Kim Richmond, inaugural director of the National Center of Public Safety, and Carrie Hull, director of You Have Options program for the Ashland Police Department in Oregon. The program touched on collaborative efforts among law enforcement, campuses and communities for improving the response to students impacted by violence and insights into engaging campus and community law enforcement and other direct service providers to develop and evaluate a coordinated community response to gender and sexual violence. The program also cited examples of how campus communities can use data to develop a comprehensive campus prevention strategic plan and effectively engage partners, from faculty to city officials.

About the Clery Center
The Clery Center for Security on Campus is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing violence, substance abuse, and other crimes on colleges and universities across the country and compassionately assisting the victims of these crimes. Founded in 1987 by Howard and Connie Clery following the murder of their 19 year-old daughter, Jeanne, the Clery Center is recognized as the leading voice for campus safety for its education and training, policy, and advocacy work.

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