A Triton from 19 to 69

Fifty Years of Lifelong Learning

Woman smiles with dark brown hair and white shirt.“Who am I? What is my potential?” These two questions began my college application essay. UCSD accepted me, a poor Filipina of immigrant parents, into Revelle College in 1970 with a four-year scholarship. Today, I’m a proud Triton alumna with decades of fulfillment and service. After graduation from Third/Thurgood Marshall College in 1974, I became a community organizer in my 20s, an entrepreneur and corporate leader in my 30s and 40s, and a board-certified K-8 public school educator and union leader in my 50s and 60s.

My proven potential is being a lifelong learner with amazing experiences. After retirement in the summer of 2018, my husband and I joined the UCSD Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, a community of retired and semi-retired persons that truly met my need for intellectual growth.

Since its inception in 1974, Osher has grown to over 800 members. Last year I was voted into the Osher Council. My expressed goal was to expand Osher into a more diverse community, an interest that stemmed from my lifetime of experience focused on creating inclusive spaces in other organizations. In 1971, I was one of the founders of the UCSD Asian American Student Alliance now called Asian Pacific Islander Student Alliance. I also sat in board rooms where I was the only female and person of color among an abundance of white males.

Computer screen with Zoom video boxes.Osher features lectures and seminars by outstanding faculty and researchers within, and beyond, UCSD. While I learned so much from all of the seminars I have attended, some of my favorites were Professor Gustavo Romero’s class & piano performance on “A Celebration of Ludwig van Beethoven” and Professor Stanley Chodorow’s series on “The Transformation of Cities.” Remarkably, I share connections with both of these professors: Gustavo Romero and I attended the same elementary school, and in 1970, Chodorow was my Revelle Humanities teacher!

Other notable classes include Professor Makeba Jones on “Understanding Educational Inequality Through the Historical Context of Race and Intelligence”, Principal Scientist Doug Gibson’s lecture on the San Elijo Lagoon 2018-2020 Restoration Project, any lecture on the universe by Professor Brian Keating and any political lecture by Professor Sanford Lakoff. But having been an educator for 18 years, I give the best teacher award to Professor Keith Meldahl on “The Geologic Evolution of the American West”.

I have a BA in U.S. History and a Masters degree in Education/Literacy, so I also love participating in the member-led discussion groups, especially “Inside Politics” and “Hot Topics”. The “Memoirs” class gave me great feedback on my writing, and on the lighter side, Osher offered mahjong classes which were a lot of fun. All lectures are recorded, so if you miss a class you can always access hundreds of recordings from the Osher Video Library. It’s an incredible resource!

Osher welcomes and supports equity, diversity, inclusion of all types of lifelong learners and lecturers. It’s been a thrill to get back to UCSD, make new friends, have access to campus libraries and resources and take part in engaging conversations with current Thurgood Marshall College undergrads while eating lunch at their café—just across the parking lot from the Osher classes. I encourage anyone interested to join today!

For further information on how to become a member, please see our homepage or contact our Program Manager, Amy Patterson, at apatterson@ucsd.edu. Join us! Osher is the enrichment opportunity you’ve been waiting for.

Marlene Tuyay Scott (she/her/hers) founded UC San Diego’s Asian American Student Alliance, now known as Asian & Pacific Islander Student Alliance. She is an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Council Member and was Thurgood Marshall’s 2021 graduation ceremony alumna speaker