Congratulations to Forensics Team Member Andrew Ronquillo for Advancing to Interstate Speech Competition!

Forensics Team member Andrew Ronquillo made Saddleback College history  when he placed first in the persuasion category at the Spring Regional Championships, where he bested several four-year university and community college competitors. With his win, Andrew will represent California at the Interstate Oratory Competition at Emerson College in Boston, the first trip to the national competition for any Saddleback student.

Andrew Ronquillo will Represent California in an Interstate Speech Competition

Coach Larry Radden will accompany Andrew to Boston at the end of April where he will present his speech on international land grabbing. The speech focuses mainly on Africa, but also on Latin America, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and other underdeveloped nations. Andrew’s argument is that land grabs harm the environment and disregard human rights.

Co-Director Larry Radden will accompany Andrew and stated, “Andrew Ronquillo is the pinnacle example of an excellent student, a leader and a Forensics competitor. Andrew was in my Speech I class in the summer of 2010, and he was so eloquent and focused that I knew I must invite him to become a part of our team. Here we are 18 months later and he has reached a goal that the select few will ever achieve as he represents the state of California at interstate oratory.  I look forward to taking Andrew to Emerson College.”

Congratulations and good luck Andrew, the Saddleback community is proud!!!

Source information:  press release entitled “Andrew Ronquillo Makes Saddleback College History at Regional Championships,” distributed by Nina Welch

Saddleback College Veterans Memorial Honored by Freedoms Foundation

Saddleback College Foundation Board Member Joyce Van Schaack, Saddleback College Foundation Board President Donna Varner, Saddleback President Tod Burnett, SOCCCD Board President Nancy Padburg, President of Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge Orange County Chapter Lane Curtis

Saddleback College was thrilled to accept the 2011 George Washington Honor Medal from the Orange County Chapter of the Freedoms Foundation on Saturday, February 11th at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club. The award was bestowed specifically for the Saddleback College Veterans Memorial, the most significant tribute to veterans at any community college campus in the nation. The college has seen a growing number of service members attending the institution and currently serves more than 1,000 student veterans and active duty military personnel each year. The memorial is representative of the Freedoms Foundation’s values: educating our youth, promoting the ideals and principles of a free society, recognizing outstanding civic achievements, cultivating excellence in education, and inspiring tomorrow’s leaders.

The event was attended by several local elected officials, including Assemblyman Don Wagner, Assemblywoman Diane Harkey, South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees President Nancy Padberg and Trustee Frank Meldau, Ph.D., Mission Viejo City Council Member Trish Kelley, and Laguna Niguel City Council Member Gary Capata. Also in attendance were the memorial artists, Professor Richard White and Fred Olsen, and Dr. Diana McCullough, wife of Dr. Richard D. McCullough, former president of Saddleback College and the person credited with first envisioning the creation of the memorial.

Joyce Van Schaack, a member of the Freedoms Foundation Orange County Chapter and of the Saddleback College Foundation Board of Governors, stated, “The George Washington Honor Medal is given to those who draw public attention to America’s rich heritage and unique freedoms. Saddleback College has not only set up programs specifically for our veterans, but they have actually built a veterans memorial to honor all veterans, and they are the only community college in the country to have done so.”

The concept for building the memorial began on Veterans Day 2004, when Dr. McCullough, then Saddleback College’s president, called a committee made up of veterans, college employees, and community members to discuss ways to permanently pay homage to veterans. To honor Dr. McCullough’s role in the development of the memorial, there was a moment of silence in memory of the former college president, whose loss is mourned by his friends and colleagues at Saddleback College after he passed away on January 31st.

The Freedoms Foundation was established in 1949 as a not-for-profit educational organization by Ken Wells, Don Belding, and E.F. Hutton. President Dwight D. Eisenhower served as its first chairman and chairman emeritus until his death in 1969. The Freedoms Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt organization and is supported primarily by voluntary contributions from individuals, corporations, foundations, service organizations, endowment funds, and its volunteer chapters.

Emeritus Institute Honors Dorothy Marie Lowry’s $2.2 Million Endowment, the Largest Single Gift to the College Foundation

To celebrating the single largest gift made to the Saddleback College Foundation, the Emeritus Institute hosted a tea to celebrate the donor – Dorothy Marie Lowry, a former emeritus student who has endowed $2.2 million. Lowry was a loyal Saddleback student for more than 10 years, having never missed a semester since her first class in 1999 until she passed away in 2011.  She took many classes in physical fitness, film literature, and art.

A highlight of the event was when the niece of Dorothy Marie Lowry, Barbara Bauer, shared the wonderful news that her aunt donated an additional $800,000 to the Emeritus Institute, bringing the total of her donation to a very generous $2.2 million.

Ms. Bauer said, “My aunt moved to Laguna Woods without knowing a single person, and the Saddleback College Emeritus Institute allowed her to meet great friends and to explore new interests. She loved the classes, teachers, and the idea of lifelong learning.”

Our Emeritus Institute is cherished by our college, district, and community alike. Due to a very generous gift from the Dorothy Marie Lowry Trust and with future gifts made to our foundation from the community, we will be able to offer Emeritus classes with minimal fees and provide scholarships to students who are unable to afford the fees and class materials.

Sandra Marzilli, Director of the Emeritus Institute, thanks Dorothy's Family for her Generous Donation

Sandra Marzilli, Director of the Emeritus Institute, said, “Wow! I am blown away by Dorothy Marie Lowry’s generosity. There are more than 300 emeritus students are in attendance today, but I know that another 10,000 of our students would want to personally thank the family for this gift.”

The event was a sell-out, attended by almost 400 Emeritus Institute students, faculty, and staff, and officials including Bob Ring, Mayor Pro Tem of Laguna Woods, Joe Brown, Mayor Pro Tem of Laguna Niguel, Nancy Padberg, President of the South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees, and Gary Poertner, Chancellor of the South Orange County Community College District. Also in attendance was Bauer’s daughter, Annemarie Alley, and her mother, Norma Carlsen.

The Saddleback College Emeritus Institute was established as a unique educational opportunity for the pursuit and enhancement of lifelong learning for the older adult population. The college offer more than 150 emeritus courses held at more than 25 convenient locations throughout South Orange County and successfully serves approximately 10,000 students annually.