(Reprinted with permission from the Fall 2013 issue of the Clery Center for Security on Campus newsletter Campus Safety Connection)

gail head shot 2After the death of her son, Michael, in an arson fire in his college residence hall in September of 1998, Gail Minger became a strong advocate for fire safety for all students, with an added focus on students with disabilities. Ms. Minger established the Michael H. Minger Foundation to address fire and life safety issues on college campuses across the nation. The Foundation has been awarded a number of Department of Homeland Security grants to facilitate the Foundation’s work in this area and started a national community service project for college students to work in their communities sharing fire safety information with their peers, the elderly, the disabled, and others in need.

Maureen Rush, the University of Pennsylvania’s Vice President for the Division of Public Safety and Chief of Police, nominated Ms. Minger for the Jeanne Clery Campus Safety Award for her work providing critical education to college and university students, most recently the production of the 9 Fires documentary. 9 Fires shows the impact of nine campus-related fires that occurred within three weeks in January and February of 2012 and is provided to colleges and universities at no cost. Ms. Rush calls Ms. Minger’s commitment to education and change “refreshing and an inspiration.”

Note from Gail Minger: I am honored to be the recipient of the 2012 Jeanne Clery Award and I thank Maureen Rush for the nomination. Helping to educate and raise awareness about campus fire safety for our nation’s students is a lifelong mission of the Minger Foundation.