On Wednesday, January 29th, we had an extended morning meeting to accommodate a visiting speaker named Katie Koestner, Executive Director of an organization called Campus Outreach Services. Ms. Koestner is the first victim of date rape to speak-out nationally and publicly about her experience at The College of William and Mary. She appeared on the cover of TIME Magazine in June of 1991. HBO made a movie about her story in 1993. Ms. Koestner has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Geraldo, NBC Nightly News, CNBC Talk Live, Larry King Live, Good Morning America, Later Today, Entertainment Tonight, MTV, Italian TV, The Jane Whitney Show, Morton Downey, Jr., and dozens of other programs. She has given interviews for the Washington Post, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, The Journal of Higher Education, and countless other national and regional publications.
Ms. Koestner delivered what she refers to as her “No-Yes” keynote address. In this emotionally gripping presentation, she discussed her journey from victim to survivor while educating students about healthy relationships and respect. Interweaving her own story with vignettes from students across the country, Ms. Koestner offered a three-fold message of successful relationship communication, responsibility in regards to drug and alcohol use, and respect, for oneself and for peers. With research, reality and passion, Ms. Koestner helps empower students to make positive, confident choices in their own relationships. Her captivating talk fosters an environment of understanding, and helps to lay the groundwork for proactive, long-term confidence-building and behavioral transformation.