Our History


Focused on advocacy, education and collaboration, the Clery Center for Security On Campus (formerly Security On Campus, Inc.) is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3)  organization dedicated to safe campus communities nationwide. The organization was founded in 1987 by Connie and Howard Clery following the April, 1986 rape and murder of their 19-year-old daughter Jeanne in her Lehigh University dorm room. Her assailant, who is spending life behind bars without parole, was also a student at the school whom Jeanne did not know prior to the attack.

Through their grief, and with strength and courage, the Clerys committed themselves to creating enduring change. They were alarmed by the lack of information provided students and families about the rapid increase of violent and non-violent incidents on campuses; they realized that while crimes were being reported to campus authorities, administrators often failed to provide adequate warnings about those incidents—even more troubling, there were no uniform laws mandating them to do so.

The Clerys took their fight to Capitol Hill. In 1990, three years after the organization’s founding, Congress approved the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act. Later renamed in Jeanne’s memory, the Jeanne Clery Act took effect in 1991. It requires colleges and universities to disclose their security policies, keep a public crime log, publish an annual crime report and provide timely warnings to students and campus employees about a crime posing an immediate or ongoing threat to students and campus employees. The law also ensures certain basic rights for victims of campus sexual assaults and requires the U.S. Department of Education to collect and disseminates campus crime statistics.

A new set of amendments, including updated emergency response and warning procedures and hate crime reporting standards were added to the Clery Act in 2008. A full text of  20 USC 1092(f) can be found at: http://www.clerycenter.org/jeanne-clery-act

Today, the Clery Center for Security On Campus provides Clery Act compliance trainings for college and university officials across the U.S. We advocate for victims and for policy initiatives that support our mission. Beyond the law we have been and will remain dedicated to the spirit of the Clery Act and its intent to provide transparent information and safer educational environments at all institutions of higher learning.    


Jeanne Clery | 1966-1986

Jeanne Clery's death led to significant changes in campus safety, but it is her life and her spirit that is remembered. Her legacy is one of love - love for the special people in her life, many of whom used the tragedy of her death as motivation to create positive change at colleges and universities nationwide.

"A personal note about Jeannie...she was your typical freshman. She was a good student, well-liked, and a tad shy, but social. She was pretty, athletic, and had an infectious laugh. She was slightly a tomboy, and obviously grew up in a house with two brothers as she didn't take much crap from her guy friends and could have probably beat most of us in an arm wrestle. She was our friend, my occasional date, a great person to hang out with, just one of our group. [She was] special..." - Andy Cagnetta, Friend of Jeanne and Clery Center Board Member

"Jeanne loved Lehigh and she loved her Lehigh friends. I was pleased to see her growing into a mature young woman. Jeanne would tell me stories of her time at Lehigh, like being thrown upside down in a trash barrel, and I would say kiddingly, 'Were you in slacks?' 'Of course I was, Mom.' And she loved going to Phi Sig Fraternity, her favorite fraternity. Jeanne was so sweet and beautiful (more beautiful inside) but also strong and fun loving. She was joy, total joy." - Connie Clery, Jeanne's mother and Clery Center Founder and Chairwoman Emerita