Former Student Bequeaths $630,000 to the  Saddleback College Emeritus Institute

For Immediate Release: 
March 2, 2018

Mission Viejo, CA – The Saddleback College Emeritus Institute recently received notification of a generous $630,000 gift from the trust of former student, Dr. Robert C. Harman. 

Dr. Harman passed of natural causes at his Dana Point home on July 11, 2017 at the age of 80. He was a professor of anthropology at California State Long Beach for 36 years and taught in the anthropology department until his retirement in 2005.
Dr. Harman began taking classes at the Saddleback College Emeritus Institute in August 2003 and continued to do so for the next 14 years, never missing a semester in that time. He took a total of 132 classes. In 2005, he presented his academic research as an invited speaker for the Saddleback College Emeritus Institute Dorothy Marie Lowry Distinguished Guest Lecture Series, speaking on Aging in the 21st Century: A View from Anthropology.  This lecture series currently runs each Friday through May 18, 2018 at Laguna Woods Village.
“Dr. Harman cared deeply about Saddleback and believed it to be a top-notch college that does a wonderful job educating its students.  Education was something he most highly valued and felt passionately about,” said the trustee of his estate, Ms. Sharyn Charnas.

Upon receiving this news, Saddleback College President, Gregory Anderson stated, “as we begin to celebrate our 50th year in serving the educational needs of south Orange County, Dr. Harman’s gift substantiates the importance of life-long learning and the stimulating course offerings of the Emeritus Institute.  I can assure Dr. Harman’s family that we will be capable stewards of this generous contribution.”

The Emeritus Institute provides academically rigorous, mentally stimulating, socially engaging, and health improving courses for older adults at 33 locations in south Orange County.  Daniel Predoehl, Assistant Dean of Division of Community Education, Emeritus Institute, K-12 Partnerships and Director of the Emeritus Institute said, “We are honored that a student of Dr. Harman’s stature would choose the Emeritus Institute to receive such a wonderful gift.” Art, financial planning, healthy aging, technology, music, and foreign language are just a few of the subject areas in which the Emeritus Institute offers courses. 

Winnie Johnson, Executive Director of the Saddleback College Foundation, shared, “Dr. Harman really enjoyed the courses he took, the instructors he met and the students he encountered in the last 14 years.  I am very excited to see the impact that his gift can make on the experiences of current and future students of the Emeritus Institute.”  The Foundation strives to increase financial support for Saddleback College academic, athletic, and cultural programs.  In 2017, over $800,000 in scholarships were distributed to south Orange County students, making their pursuit of a degree or certificate a reality.