Student Donates Award Winnings to the Emeritus Institute

Emeritus Director Sandra Marzilli, Elizabeth Busick and President Tod Burnett

Emeritus Institute student Elizabeth Busick took the money she received when she was named a winner of the California Senior Leaders Award from UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health and put it right back into education – she donated it to the Saddleback College Emeritus Institute.

Earning the award was a real honor for Ms. Busick, who was one of 30 seniors selected among nominees throughout the state.  The award has earned her a spot on the California Senior Leaders Alliance for the next two years, in addition to $500, which was to be put toward a non-profit program of her choice.  We are glad and thankful that Ms. Busick chose to donate the funds to the Emeritus Institute.

Ms. Busick, a resident of Mission Viejo and a Saddleback College student for 38 years, believes strongly in the importance of the Emeritus Institute and the difference it has made in the lives of so many seniors.  She said, “I am a strong advocate of life-long learning.  That’s part of the reason I chose to give the Emeritus Institute the $500 I won from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. The classes the Emeritus Institute offers help seniors remain active, alert and independent and function as vital members of their community rather than dependents of their families or the State of California. These classes…are vital to keeping seniors mentally and physically fit. I can attest to their validity having taken a variety of the stimulating classes.”

She’s not exaggerating when she says she has taken a variety of classes.  Just some of the classes Elizabeth has completed include Pilates Conditioning, Birds of the World, Intro to Opera, Beginning Digital Photography, and Intro to Philosophy. She looks forward to taking Tai Chi, Aquatic Fitness,  and Jewelry Metal Fabrication in the near future.

Saddleback College thanks Ms. Busick for her generous gift, which will help other seniors gain valuable experiences in the Emeritus Institute!

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.