Marymount College Announces MOU with County of Lake College campus to be located within Lucerne Hotel

On Saturday, June 9, the Marymount College Board of Trustees unanimously approved a memorandum of understanding with the County of Lake, Calif., to pursue planning for a college campus to be located at the historic Lucerne Hotel. The Board’s decision follows the Lake County Board of Supervisors’ unanimous approval of the MOU on Tuesday, June 5, during its meeting.

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.”

Rob Brown, chair of the Lake County Board of Supervisors, said, “We are very fortunate to be working with the leadership team of Marymount College. Over the past several months, they really have demonstrated their commitment to Lake County.”

The MOU speaks to a phased approach that would begin with lifelong learning coursework that is not degree-specific and professional development programs. Starting with extension courses, community involvement, internships and research as early as 2013, the College would seek accreditation approval for the site to serve as a Marymount Regional Center starting in 2014 to offer bachelor’s degrees for students who have completed their freshman and sophomore years, and graduate studies for those students who have completed their bachelor’s degrees. The hotel property can house more than 100 students. Additional students would commute to the campus. Students who enroll at Lake County would 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 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. The next step is the development of a lease agreement.

“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.”

“We extend our appreciation to the County of Lake and its residents for welcoming Marymount College to the community,” he concluded.


About Marymount College

The Harbor and South Bay communities of Los Angeles have been home to Marymount College for more than 50 years. Today, Marymount College is a Catholic, four-year liberal arts college with locations in San Pedro and Rancho Palos Verdes and a future location in the County of Lake, Calif. The college is devoted to sustaining the values of its founding order, the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, whose mission is to “serve others so that all may have life.” Central to fulfilling this mission is the continual improvement of the college so it may always provide relevant programs for students of all ages, faiths and economic backgrounds.

Marymount College’s Main Campus in Rancho Palos Verdes overlooks the Pacific Ocean, while the Waterfront Campus in San Pedro affords upper-division students opportunities for learning in the port community, which offers new avenues for study, internships and service. Encompassing several buildings on Sixth Street in historic San Pedro, the Waterfront Campus (established in fall 2011) is one of many accomplishments that set this college on a path to unprecedented success.

Additional accomplishments include a recent increase in enrollment by more than 70 percent, with the college currently serving approximately 1,000 students. Many new programs have been added, such as bachelor’s degrees in psychology, business and media studies, and liberal arts. Graduate degrees are in the planning stages, with enrollment planned for 2013. Formerly offering club sports of lacrosse and soccer, the college has now joined the California Pacific Conference and competes in soccer, track and field, cross-country, and golf. More than $7 million has been invested in facility construction and renovation at the college’s residential sites, while ground breaking has occurred for improvements to the Main Campus in Rancho Palos Verdes. In addition, Marymount College was recently recognized by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities as a Hispanic-serving institution with more than 25 percent of its enrollment composed of Hispanic students.

For more information, visit or contact Marymount College Public Relations at

1 comment:

  1. Maybe we can encorage Marymount College to start a crew team and bring that sport to Lake County as well. :)