|Marymount College plans to locate a new campus at the Lucerne Hotel in Lucerne, Calif. Lake County News photo.|
LUCERNE, Calif. – Four days after the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve a memorandum of understanding with Marymount College for a campus at the Lucerne Hotel, the college's board of trustees reciprocated with its own approval, setting the stage for the next phases of turning the historic building into an educational center.
The Board of Supervisors took its vote on Tuesday, June 5, and on Saturday, June 9, the Marymount College Board of Trustees unanimously approved the agreement to proceed with developing the campus, the college reported.
Marymount College is a four-year liberal arts college with locations in San Pedro and Rancho Palos Verdes. The college reported that it currently serves about 1,000 students.
The next step is the development of a lease agreement.
Officials with Marymount College said they're busy developing the educational programs they plan to offer at the new campus, located on Country Club Drive.
Marymount College President Dr. Michael Brophy described the ability to develop the college in Lake County as an extraordinary opportunity.
“We plan to begin serving a few students in the fall,” said Dr. Brophy. “However, we will be working over the next year to develop curriculum and programs that best serve the needs of students and the community in Lake County.”
“We are very fortunate to be working with the leadership team of Marymount College,” said Lake County Board of Supervisors Chair Rob Brown. “Over the past several months, they really have demonstrated their commitment to Lake County.”
Starting in 2013 and unrolling through 2015, the college will offer bachelor’s degrees for students who have completed their freshman and sophomore years, graduate studies for those students who have completed their bachelor’s degrees, lifelong learning coursework that is not degree-specific and professional development programs.
The hotel property can house more than 100 students; college officials said additional students will commute to the campus.
Students who enroll at Lake County will also be given the opportunity to attend classes at the Southern California campuses or in the college’s study-abroad programs.
Invited by the county of Lake in June 2011 to submit a proposal to build an educational institution within the county-owned property, the Marymount College submitted its proposal for consideration.
After multiple visits and discussions between county leaders and the college’s administration, a mutually beneficial agreement, the MOU, was prepared, and it serves as the framework for the two organizations.
“We plan to be a part of the community and to bring programs to and serve the needs of transfer students completing their bachelor’s degrees and students seeking college coursework to further career or personal goals,” said Dr. Brophy.
The college will look to the community for opportunities for student internships, academic research and service learning (volunteer work that is integrated with coursework), and it will offer students recreational pursuits unique to the picturesque Clear Lake and surrounding terrain.
“The benefits that Marymount College will bring to our community are extraordinary,” Brown said.
The college has met with leaders representing local government; education; Hispanic and Native American populations; and the winemaking, hospitality, gaming and energy industries; and has recently completed a survey of many of these populations to assess their educational needs.
Enrollment opportunities also exist to bring students from the college’s Southern California campuses to the Lucerne campus for a semester or year, as well as to attract students from the Bay Area and internationally to study at the Lucerne campus.
The Lucerne Hotel sits on seven acres, with basketball courts and a swimming pool and views of the expansive Clear Lake. Its stately appearance has been refurbished and is fondly referred to as “the castle” by those who liken its peaked roofs and 1920s’ architecture to those of regal Swiss chateaux.
The last tenant, the San Francisco Theological Seminary, purchased it in 1968 and then sold it to the County of Lake in 2010. The county has completed property restoration and improvements since taking ownership.
Marymount College’s leaders view the Lucerne campus as a complement to its campuses in the Rancho Palos Verdes and San Pedro communities.
“We offer students a suburban learning experience with a pastoral view of the Pacific Ocean from our Rancho Palos Verdes campus,” said Dr. Brophy. “And in San Pedro our students gain experience in an urban environment where international commerce through the Port of Los Angeles, nonprofit organizations and art lofts surround the campus.”
The opportunities in Lake County serve to further the continuum of study for students, who will gain knowledge and contribute to the dynamics of a rural environment. “Our values and vision for a Lake County campus are seamlessly aligned with the goals of the leaders of Lake County,” said Dr. Brophy. “We are eager to begin our work together.”
He added, “We extend our appreciation to the County of Lake and its residents for welcoming Marymount College to the community.”