Saddleback College Recognizes Maintenance and Facilities Staff at Dedication of New Bridge

The view of the new bridge from the LRC

Recognizing the commitment and hard work of Saddleback College’s facilities and maintenance staff, more than 150 guests attended a ribbon cutting and dedication on Friday, July 27th to celebrate the opening of the college’s new bridge that connects the upper campus to the newly-renovated Learning Resource Center. Brian McMahon, a 34-year veteran of the college and the longest-serving member of the facilities and maintenance department, was asked to cut the ceremonial ribbon.

“This event is all about our facilities and maintenance staff and the gratitude we have for the work they do each day,” stated Dr. Burnett. “At least a few times a week I hear someone mention how beautiful the Saddleback College campus looks. The staff has done a fantastic job and it shows.”

The facilities and maintenance staff pose in front of the bridge entrance

Marcia Milchiker, clerk of the South Orange County Community College District (SOCCCD) Board of Trustees, spoke at the event, “Having been a professor, I know that a clean, well-maintained campus is vital to student success. The work that the facilities and maintenance staff does has a huge impact on helping our students achieve their goals and it is important that they be recognized for their hard work.”

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Congratulations Saddleback College Graduates!

Today, Saddleback College recognized graduates and certificate of achievement recipients at its annual commencement ceremony. The graduates became Saddleback alumni in front of hundreds of adoring family, friends, and faculty. Before the degrees were conferred, commencement Speaker and California Community Colleges Chancellor, Dr. Jack Scott, imparted words of wisdom to the group, urging them to be prepared for roadblocks but to always be persistent.  The Commencement Student Speaker Janis Alexa Smith shared her story of struggles and triumph and earned her degree in front of her children and grandchildren.

For more pictures and a great article, check out the story that the Orange County Register did about commencement!

Of the students who graduated from Saddleback College this year, 301 received honors, including 28 summa cum laude (4.0 grade point average), 95 magna cum laude (3.75 to 3.99 grade point average) and 178 cum laude (3.5 to 3.74 grade point average).  Showing the diverse range of ages at the college, the youngest graduate, Alex Cole, is 16 years of age, and the most senior graduate, Helen Ngo, just celebrated her 80th birthday!  Fifty-six graduates are younger than 20 and 22 graduates are over the age of 55.

Students participating in commencement are candidates for Associate in Arts and Science degrees and certificates of achievement.  More than 2,000 students will also be transferring to four-year colleges and universities to continue studying for their baccalaureate degrees.  This year’s graduates will be transferring to four-year institutions such as USC, UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, CSU Fullerton, San Diego State University, and Arizona State University, among others.

Commencement is a special time at Saddleback College where we celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates.  I am very proud of our students and the faculty, staff, and administrators who played an integral role in helping them reach their goals.  Congratulations to the Class of 2012!

South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees President Nancy Padberg lead the conferral of degrees along with Trustees David B. Lang, Frank M. Meldau, Ph.D., Marcia Milchiker, and T.J. Prendergast, III, and Chancellor Gary L. Poertner. During the ceremony, special recognition will be given to the two retiring faculty members who will be elevated to Professor Emeritus status and to Professors of the Year.

 

More than 100 People attend Transfer Celebration

The Transfer Center’s annual celebration was once again a huge success. More than 100 students, faculty, staff, administrators, parents, and friends came out to support students who are transferring to colleges and universities. The celebration is a time for students to mingle with future classmates and meet representatives from their transfer colleges. This year Saddleback transferred more than 2,000 students to colleges and universities all over the world!

A couple of transfer facts:

  • Saddleback College is 12th out of 112 California Community Colleges in transfers to UCs and CSUs.
  • Saddleback College is ranked third in the state in the number of transfers to UCI
  • We are ranked third in the number of transfers to CSUF and CSULB
  • Saddleback is the highest in Orange County for transfers to San Diego State University, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Chico State, CSU San Marcos, Humboldt State, and San Francisco State

For a list of students and their transfer colleges, please keep reading.

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Commencement Speaker Application Deadline Extended

Saddleback College is currently accepting applications for a student commencement speaker. The Commencement Committee is looking for someone who wants to inspire and be the voice of their graduating peers! The deadline for applications has been extended to April 6th by 5:00 p.m. You can apply, even without your speech completed; students only need to include a proposed outline of their commencement speech in the application.

Commencement 2012 Student Speaker Application – http://www.saddleback.edu/commencement/documents/speakerapp2012.pdf

Updated Commencement Committee Timeline (Please refer to this list, not the dates on the application)

April 6 – Applications Due by 5:00 p.m. to Student Development in SSC 210

April 16 – Leadership Council Review at 3:00 p.m. in the ASG Conference Room, SSC 211C

April 24- Applicants present their speech in person to the Commencement Committee 4:00 p.m. in SSC 211C

Do not include your name or student ID number on the speech. If you have any questions, please contact the Student Development Office via email scstudentdevelopment@saddleback.edu or call 582-4555 All applications are due no later than Friday, April 6, 2012 by 5:00 p.m. and must be turned into the Student Development Office (SSC 210) with original signature. Student commencement speakers must meet all graduation requirements.

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.

Farewell to Dr. Carmen Cortez Dominguez

We are excited to announce that Dr. Carmen Dominguez has been selected as the new dean of fine and performing arts at the College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita.  While we are happy for Dr. Dominguez, we are sad to see the departure of one of Saddleback’s highly accomplished faculty leaders.  When she came to the college in 1996 as a music instructor, the symphony orchestra had two members, no budget, and all of the equipment was 20 years old.  Since serving as chair of the music department, she has successfully expanded the college’s music program and staunchly advocated for new equipment.  Most notably, a 24 station state-of-the-art piano/keyboard lab, choral equipment, and a seven-foot Steinway grand piano, were donated to the college from the Nordstrom Corporation.  Last May she conducted the orchestra and college choirs in sold out performances of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sensational Phantom of the Opera and Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd in the prior year.  During  her past 15 years with Saddleback, Dr. Dominguez has served and provided leadership on numerous college and district committees, including serving as president of the academic senate for four  terms.

Dr. Dominguez is one of those rare individuals who has made a tremendously positive impact on our students, college, and community and she will be missed by all of us.  We asked Dr. Dominguez if she had a departing message for everyone at the college and not surprisingly she said,  “Thank you for the last 15 years, it’s been a HOOT!”  Indeed, it has been a hoot all these years, and we wish Dr. Dominguez the very best at her new college home.

To thank Dr. Dominguez for her years of service at Saddleback College and to wish her the best of luck as the new dean of arts at College of the Canyons, you are cordially invited to attend a celebration in her honor on Friday, August 5th from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the courtyard of the fine arts complex.  Click here for the invitation.