The safe and welcoming lounge at the Queer Resource Center of the Claremont Colleges

Pomona College today was named to the annual Campus Pride 2014 Top 50 LGBT-Friendly Colleges & Universities. According to this national organization for student leaders and campus groups, the Campus Pride listing "highlights the positive efforts to improve safety and academic life for LGBT students as well as the top institutions leading the way."

"More than ever colleges today want to be viewed as LGBT-friendly and a welcoming place for all students. LGBT students and their safety impact the recruitment efforts of the entire campus," said Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride. "Upper-level administrators are now understanding how LGBT-friendliness is key to future institutional success. This Top 50 list is proof."

The center of LGBT support at Pomona College is the Queer Resource Center of The Claremont Colleges, which is located on the Pomona College campus and is supported by and serves the students of all seven Claremont Colleges. The QRC offers a safe and welcoming place for students, as well as policy development, empowerment and support of students, a resource library, programming, ally training, and drop-in hours for informal counseling.

"I'm thrilled that Pomona College has been recognized as one of the Top 50 LGBT-Friendly colleges in the country," says QRC Director Adriana di Bartolo. "This honor marks an achievement to many who have worked to create inclusive and welcoming spaces for queer and transgender students at Pomona."

In the past, Campus Pride has only featured a Top 25, but this year Campus Pride has released a list of 50 "Best of the Best." The listing is based on the final responses to the Campus Pride Index, a national benchmarking tool which self-assesses LGBT-friendly policies, programs and practices.

"For six years in a row, Campus Pride has seen an increase in the number of campuses coming out as LGBT-friendly and making notable improvements to LGBT academic life, so we decided to honor 50 campuses with our national distinction," said Windmeyer.

According to Campus Pride, a college had to achieve 5 stars overall in order to be in the Top 50 this year as well as have the highest percentages across the eight LGBT-friendly benchmarks for policy, program and practice. Pomona received five out of five stars in six of the eight categories, including LGBT student life, LGBT academic life, LGBT policy inclusion, and LGBT support and institutional commitment. The listing this year includes public and private colleges with student populations ranging from 1,600 to over 50,000.