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.

Founding Faculty Member Endows $140,000 toward Student Scholarships

Linda Richardson Rice, a member of Saddleback College’s “first faculty” who started when the college opened its doors to students in 1968, endowed more than $140,000 for scholarships for students who are majoring in or planning a career in education. The first scholarship from Rice’s endowment will be awarded in May and will continue to support students for many years.

In the information provided to the Foundation, Rice wrote that she appreciated the scholarships she received while in college and endowed this money to give future students the same opportunity for a college education. Rice, who passed away in 2010, was a devoted teacher for more than 50 years and joined Saddleback in 1968 as one of the first faculty members, teaching secretarial science. She became an instrumental influence in computer information management, both originating and teaching many computer courses. She taught full-time at Saddleback for 27 years until she retired in 1995. Following retirement, Rice continued teaching part-time for seven years, and then taught emeritus courses until 2010.