The Saddleback Community Giving Back

The 53 Thanksgiving Baskets Collected for Student Veterans

We have a great deal to be thankful for at Saddleback College, especially everything the students and employees do each and every day to give back to the community. Over the past couple of weeks there have been some remarkable efforts that underscore our campus’ spirit of giving.

The Classified Senate led by co-chairs Tracy McConnell and Cathy Beres sponsored the 3rd annual ‘Giving Thanks’ to Saddleback student veterans.  With donations of over 5,000 non-perishable food items from students, faculty, staff, and management, they were able to present 53 overflowing Thanksgiving baskets to student veterans. In addition, contributions of gift cards and cash enabled each recipient to buy a turkey and all the fixings needed to create a complete family holiday meal.

The Associate Student Government sponsored a turkey drive to raise funds and food for student families in our Extended Opportunity Program and Services (EOPS).  The students raised $951 and collected over 3,050 food items including six turkeys donated by a former ASG member. Their efforts provided enough food for a traditional thanksgiving dinner for over 20 families,.

The college’s student services division developed a partnership with Helping Hand Worldwide to provide free groceries each month for some of our students and veterans in need and to raise awareness about hunger in our community. Their first grocery distribution was on November 7th that served 48 students, with distributions occurring on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month in Lot #1 between 12:30pm and 1:30pm.  This group effort was led by Jeanne Harris-Caldwell, Terence Nelson, Joyce Semanik, Lisa Inlow, Sholeh Alizadeh, Erin Long, and Leslie Humphrey.

These efforts and many more across campus make important contributions to our students’ success and supporting our community at large.  We greatly appreciate the work and contributions from hundreds of students, faculty, staff, and management.

Standing Room Only at Annual Family Night

Professor Ochoa Talks about Speech Communication and the Forensics Team

More than 200 high school students and their families packed into SSC 212 on November 5th for the Saddleback Outreach Department’s annual Family Night. Attendees visited with dozens of college departments at an educational fair, sampled hors d’oeuvres  prepared by culinary students, and listened to music from Students had the opportunity to learn about what majors and career training is offered at Saddleback and meet with deans, faculty, and staff from several departments.

Next, President Burnett, Leslie Humphrey, director of outreach and recruitment, Sahar Ghassemi, associated student government senator of kinesiology and athletics, Lucas Ochoa, professor of speech communications, and three members of Saddleback’s forensic’s team, provided valuable information about being prepared for college and ways to succeed. All seats were filled and people stood throughout the room as Sahar provided insight about what students can expect to get out of coming to Saddleback and what they need to put into their education while they are here. Professor Ochoa and the forensics team put on a great performance and showed why they are one of the best teams in the nation.

Finally, students were able to attend workshops about CTE, financial aid and scholarships, and, transferring and the honors program. All of the workshops were standing room only, the presenters were engaging and informative, and students and family members asked insightful questions.

Family Night has become one of our best events and everyone involved should be proud of the excellent work!

For more pictures, click here.



Saddleback College Gears Up for Homecoming 2012

On Saturday, September 29th, Saddleback College will host its annual Homecoming celebration, featuring family-friendly tailgate events, entertainment and food, an Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony at halftime, and the first 2012 conference football game versus Santa Ana College. Pre-game tailgating activities will begin at 4:00 p.m. and kick-off for the game is at 6:00 p.m.  Admission to the game is $10.00 for general admission and $6.00 for students, seniors, children, and active-duty military; on-campus parking will be free. Several of the pre-game festivities are free but some will require admission into the stadium.

The Saddleback College Associated Student Government is sponsoring a pre-game tailgate event, which will feature a live band, Waffle-icious food truck, kids’ games, a bounce house and ball pit. During the tailgate, donations will be collected for several local charities.

During halftime, 74 Saddleback College alumni will be presented with medallions and inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame was started in 1980 and new members are inducted every four years.

Dr. Tod A. Burnett, President of Saddleback College, stated, “All are invited to attend what will be a great Homecoming football event where the Gauchos are sure to play a great game against the Santa Ana Dons. The work of our students and athletics department in the planning of fun pre-game and halftime festivities will help to make this an event to remember.  I encourage all students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members to come out for this wonderful annual tradition.”


Gauchos Celebrate Homecoming with a Tailgate Party and a Win!

On Saturday, September 24th, Saddleback College hosted its annual Homecoming celebration, featuring family-friendly tailgate events and food, halftime entertainment, and a football game versus Victor Valley College. The Gauchos won the game 48-14 and increased their record to 4-0. Saddleback quarterback Ben Gomez threw for a school, sing-game record 487 yards and three touchdowns. The team went into the game rated No. 4 in the latest Dirty 30 national rankings. Go Gauchos!

Photo Courtesy of Associated Student Government

The Associated Student Government hosted pregame tailgating activities will begin at 4:00 p.m. and kick-off for the game is at 6:00 p.m.  The tailgate events will be located in front of the stadium and are free. Admission to the game is free with an ASB Stamp or $5.00 for general admission; on-campus parking will also be free.

Homecoming King Jordan Larson and Queen Sydne Ames. Photo courtesy of ASG.

The Saddleback College Associated Student Government is sponsoring a pre-game tailgate event, which featured a DJ, Chomp Chomp Nation and Panfinity food trucks selling dinner and the Sea Salt Candy Company selling dessert. There was also a bounce house and an obstacle course for kids. During the tailgate, $200 in donations were collected for Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) and Max Wilford, son of Saddleback College Student Development Director Audra DiPadova, to help the family following Max’s recent brain surgery.

The Homecoming King and Queen were named before the game and a donation was made to the club of their choice. Jordan Larson made his donation to Chess Club and Sydne Ames made her donation to ASG. Congratulations to the winners and their clubs!

Saddleback College to Commemorate 10th Anniversary of 9/11

To pay tribute to the victims of September 11, 2001 and those who died in subsequent action, Saddleback College will be hosting a 9/11 commemoration ceremony at the college’s veterans memorial on Thursday, September 8th at 4:00 p.m.

Saddleback College President Tod A. Burnett and Associated Student Government President Joseph Hassine will provide the opening remarks, Emergency Medical Technician faculty member Ruth Grubb will lead a moment of silence, Marine Corps Veteran and Saddleback College student Elizabeth Tepe will speak, and student Chase Chandler will perform Taps.

Saddleback College 9/11 Commemoration Ceremony
Date: Thursday, September 8th
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Location: Campus Quad in front of the Veterans Memorial
Parking: Free parking in Lot 5 during the event

A Record-Breaking $270,000 in Scholarships Awarded at Saddleback College Ceremony

President Burnett and Outstanding Student of the Year Cassandra Ong. Photo Credit: Jenny Loya

A record-breaking $270,000 in scholarships was awarded to 145 students at Saddleback College’s 35th annual Scholarship Ceremony on Thursday, May 12th.  More than 138 individual scholarships were donated by businesses, organizations, community members, and the Saddleback College Associated Student Government, which donated more than $82,000 in scholarships and underwrote the expenses for the ceremony. Forty-nine scholarships worth more than $43,000 were funded by the Bernard Osher Scholarship Fund.

The evening began with the presentation of the ASG President’s Award, which is bestowed to a student who has demonstrated excellent leadership at Saddleback College, and the Outstanding Student Award, which is presented to a student that has shown exemplary leadership, community involvement, and academic achievement. Cassandra Ong, who aspires to be an accountant, was presented the President’s Award by Dr. Burnett. Ms. Ong’s academic goal is to major in accounting in either the University of California or California State University  to pursue an accounting degree and currently holds a 4.0 GPA.  The Outstanding Student of the Year Award went to Tcharles Fagundes, who received his Associate of Arts degree in Business Administration at Saddleback College in 2009. Since graduating, Mr. Fagundes discovered a desire to help less fortunate people as a physician and changed his academic major to health care.

Ms. Varner presented the Donor of the Year Award to the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Mission Viejo-Saddleback Valley. AAUW has contributed to the scholarship program for 10 years, exceeding $30,000 in donations.  For the past three years, the group has also contributed to the Osher Endowment.

The Saddleback College Scholarship Ceremony is an annual event that started in 1976, when 45 donors contributed just over $12,000 to some 60 students. Thirty-five years later, more than $4 million in scholarships have been awarded to deserving Saddleback College students.