The John R. McCune Charitable Trust has awarded a $75,000 grant to the University of New Haven to help support the expansion of the exhibits in the Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science.
The new exhibits will depict the history and importance of forensic science including DNA testing and technology and other noteworthy developments and actual case studies that illustrate the difference between fictional and realistic crime scenes.
The institute currently features exhibits that depict some of the disciplines in forensic science and that chronicle cases worked on by Dr. Henry C. Lee, who is a chaired professor at the university and a world renowned forensic scientist . UNH’s Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences is named in his honor, as is the institute that he founded.
Lee has consulted on more than 8,000 criminal cases in 46 countries, including the O.J. Simpson and Casey Anthony trials and the JonBenét Ramsey murder investigation.
The new exhibits will form a “Tunnel of History” along the corridors of the institute. The display will include interactive touch-screen stations that allow a visitor to learn more about UNH, the significant advances in the field of forensic science and the history of the institute.
“The ‘Tunnel of History’ project is an important addition to the exhibits already featured in the Lee Institute of Forensic Science,” said President Steven Kaplan. “It will allow our students and the many visitors who come to the institute each year to see a breadth and depth of information about forensics in a format that takes advantage of the latest technology.”
The contribution from the McCune Foundation will fund software and hardware upgrades and support necessary improvements to integrate the new technology programs into the current operating system of the institute’s learning center.
The institute was created more than 20 years ago by Lee, the State of Connecticut’s chief criminalist from 1979 to 2000. In 2010, the institute was relocated to a new $11.5 million facility that features state-of-the-art technology designed to help experts examine cold cases, provide training in crime scene investigation and offer real-time consultation to law enforcement professionals.
The institute’s learning center has attracted more than 10,000 UNH students, families, law enforcement professionals, judges, attorneys, middle and high school teachers and students. It is also open to the public.