County of Lake and Marymount College Approve Lease for College Located at Lucerne Hotel

Marymount College President Michael Brophy and Lake County Board of Supervisors Chairman Rob Brown announced on October 23rd, the completion of a lease agreement between the college and the County of Lake for the use of the historic Lucerne Hotel as a college campus. The lease’s approval opens the door for educational opportunities for the residents of Lake County and provides the college the opportunity for expansion into an idyllic rural community.

Beginning fall 2014, the college plans to offer a four-year degree completion program to Lake County transfer students, pending the approval of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Current Marymount students will be able to participate in research, internships and service learning in 2013. The College is also considering professional and community educational programs for development and implementation beginning 2013-2014.

President Brophy and the college’s board of trustees approved the agreement at their October 13, 2012, board meeting in Rancho Palos Verdes, where the college’s main campus is located. The college also operates a campus in San Pedro’s waterfront district in Los Angeles County. With the establishment of a college in Lake County, Marymount students may move between campuses and attend classes, participate in service learning, complete internships and do research in both urban and rural settings.

The lease received unanimous approval from the Lake County Board of Supervisors at its meeting on October 23, 2012. “After working together for more than a year, we are excited to be able to formalize the details of the partnership,” said Chairman Rob Brown of the Lake County Board of Supervisors. “The presence of a four-year college will benefit students in Lake County and in surrounding counties.” “We are eager to begin our partnership,” said Dr. Brophy. “We will be developing curriculum and programs that serve the needs of students and the community in Lake County. After meeting with many in the community we know we can serve many of the area’s higher education needs.”

Invited by the County of Lake in June 2011 to prepare a proposal to develop an educational institution on the county-owned property, Marymount College submitted its proposal for consideration and was selected by the County of Lake from a field of applicants. After multiple visits and discussions between county leaders and the college’s administration, a mutually beneficial agreement was prepared and served as the framework for the college to be located at the Lucerne Hotel.

“This is a perfect example of what a public-private partnership looks like,” said Lake County District Three Supervisor Denise Rushing, in whose district the college campus will operate. Rushing stated the many benefits of the partnership also will include the preservation and reuse of a historic resort property and the positive impacts to the local economy.

Throughout the renovation of the facility, the county has made “buying local” a priority: 32 of the 35 contractors working on the project have been local contractors.

A historic property that opened in 1928, the Lucerne Hotel is a 50,000-square-foot-structure on seven acres that will provide ample space for the college to grow over time, including space for classrooms and conference rooms, student dormitories, faculty housing, food service facilities, outdoor recreation and gardens.

In preparing for the future college in Lake County, the college’s planning team met with leaders representing government, business, non-profit organizations, education and special-need populations. Following those meetings, the Lake County Advisory Council was formed to represent key segments of the local community. Council members represent local leadership in education, business, health, agriculture, faith, non-profit and the Veterans, Hispanic and Native American populations and will meet together several times a year. The members of the Advisory Council provide their knowledge and insight to the leadership team of the college. Their counsel and ambassadorship in the community is expected to be instrumental in the college’s success as a provider of higher education and as an integral community partner.

The members of the Marymount College Advisory Council include: Kelly Cox, Greg Giusti, Wally Holbrook, Matt Perry, Melissa Fulton, Wilda Shock, Debra Sommerfield, Mike Brown, Thomas Leon Brown, Victoria Brandon, Jim Brown, Voris Brumfield, Laurie Daly, Dennis Darling, Ilene Dumont, Gloria Flaherty, Annette Hopkins, Paul Joens-Poulton, Bill Kearney, Tom Lincoln, Roberta Lyons, Sue Samota, Michelle Scully, Fr. Ron Serban and Paul Zellman.

“We are so grateful to the many individuals who have encouraged and guided the college over the past year,” said President Brophy. “The higher education needs of the community and the mission of the college are perfectly aligned.”

Chairman Brown said, “We believe the long-term impact of this partnership will be transformational for our community.”

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