Marymount California University, Lakeside

June 29, 2016

Lake County’s ‘castle turned college’ celebrates the class of 2016

Known for its exceptional winegrapes, Lake County, California, is celebrating a little pomp and circumstance these days.

Congratulations are in order, as Lake County’s first-ever four-year university just graduated its first-ever graduating class. In a milestone event for the emerging wine country region about 100 miles north of San Francisco, the inaugural graduating class of Marymount California University, Lakeside, has just turned the tassels on their caps. It’s a watershed event not only for this class of graduates, but also for Lake County itself. It’s a symbol of the emerging commitment to education by Lake County’s first accredited four-year university that offers both bachelor’s and graduate degree programs.

But make no mistake about it, Marymount California University, Lakeside, is no ordinary campus. The gorgeous 50,000-square-foot structure with 85 rooms that dates back more than 87 years is actually a castle.

Long known to locals simply as “the castle,” the facility was originally a luxury hotel during the Prohibition era. On a gorgeous location overlooking Clear Lake, the oldest lake in North America, the refurbished facility has recently hosted events like the Lake County Wine Adventure VIP Gala and an ongoing distinguished speaker series. But “the castle” is now a full-fledged four-year college campus, offering undergraduate and graduate programs. Anyone interested in a higher education in Lake County should consider this one-of-a-kind institution in the beautiful and bucolic surrounding community of Lucerne.

This graduation is the crowning achievement of a giant endeavor that began back in 2012, when Lake County and Marymount California University entered into an agreement to establish Lake County’s first accredited university. The graduation marks a milestone for hundreds of community leaders, staff, trustees, volunteers and visionaries who have made this moment possible. 

As far as the academics are concerned, Marymount California University’s Lakeside campus offers bachelor’s degrees in business, liberal arts and psychology, and graduate degree programs in community psychology, leadership and global development. The university also offers a unique MBA program that combines online courses with faculty-mentored research projects and directed study.

Marymount California University already has two campuses in the Los Angeles County communities of Palos Verdes and San Pedro, but Marymount’s new Lakeside campus in Lucerne marks a true pioneering moment, making higher education available in Lake County for the first time.

And it is bucking the trend of higher tuition rates to boot.

The Lakeside campus recently announced a tuition decrease for its undergraduate programs. The discounted tuition is available to residents of Lake County, plus the neighboring counties of Colusa, Glenn, Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma and Yolo.

“This change in tuition creates access to a bachelor’s degree that formerly was only available by leaving the county of Lake,” Marymount California University President Dr. Lucas Lamadrid told the Lake County News. “Students are now able to work, raise a family and attain their bachelor’s degree within their own community.”

On May 11, the first degrees were issued to those graduating students and that vision became a reality. The first-ever class of Lake County graduates are ready to go forward and make their mark on the world, and will always hold a special place in the Lake County educational system.

Students interested in becoming future graduates of Marymount California University, Lakeside, can visit the school’s website or call 888-991-5253 for enrollment information. Additionally, summer open house events are scheduled for June 15, 22 and 29; July 13, 20 and 27; and Aug. 3 and 9.

The high-altitude wine region of Lake County now offers higher learning. Marymount California University, Lakeside, has started a new era for Lake County, just as it opened doors to the future for the 2016 inaugural graduating class. Anyone considering a higher education should look up to Lake County and Marymount California University, Lakeside—among the most scenic campuses in California.