Dorothy Marie Lowry




Emeritus Institute Celebrates Dorothy Marie Lowry

In March 2012, Saddleback College Emeritus Institute had a lot to celebrate! Guests at a special 36th Birthday Afternoon Tea gathered to celebrate the ongoing successes of the years since 1976, and the generosity of Dorothy Marie Lowry, a former student of the program. In total, the Dorothy Marie Lowry Trust gave $2.6 million to the Emeritus Institute, marking the largest single gift ever made to Saddleback College.

Dorothy Marie Lowry was born on November 22, 1929, and came to Southern California in 1990 after her husband passed away. She had been a home economics teacher, and believed passionately in the power of education. She moved into the Casta Del Sol senior community, and began classes with the Emeritus institute to meet people in her new home. From then on, she never missed a semester until she passed away in 2011. At the afternoon tea, Dorothy’s niece Ms. Barbara Bauer spoke movingly, explaining that Dorothy was quiet and lived modestly, but also enjoyed going out with friends and travelling. The Institute was such an important part of Dorothy’s life that she wished to support lifelong learning at Saddleback for all older adults. Barbara continued “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.” In its’ memorial to Dorothy, the Casta Del Sol community recorded that “Dorothy felt very strongly that meeting people, developing new friendships, and the stimulation of the many classes she attended contributed to her physical and mental well-being as she aged.” This, of course, is also a core belief of the Emeritus Institute.

Saddleback College Emeritus Institute staff were present to express the program’s gratitude to Dorothy’s Family. Sandra Marzilli, Emeritus Director, said “Dorothy felt the Emeritus program was extremely worthwhile to the seniors in our community, that it was something that should be available for all older adults, so she wanted to make sure the program continued forever.” Sandra concluded “We are blown away by Dorothy Marie Lowry’s generosity. There are more than 300 Emeritus students in attendance today, but I know that another 10,000 of our students would want to personally thank the family for this gift.”

We continue to thank Dorothy and the family for their most generous “forever” gift, and we continue to see the difference it makes to our program.