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Honorary Chair: Marian Penn, Dean Emerita

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Marian Penn

Often introduced as the first dean of Monterey College of Law, Marian Penn was actually the second dean of the law school following Founding Dean, David Kirkpatrick.  And, it was during her five-year tenure from 1977-1982 that we achieved our full accreditation from the State Bar Committee of Bar Examiners, funded a Community Legal Education Program that was cited as a model program by the ABA, increased enrollment from 60 to 160 students, and enlarged our operating fund six-fold.

Penn started her legal career as a deputy public defender in Monterey County, followed by her time as a staff attorney for the Gilroy office of the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation.  After her five years at MCL, she continued her interest in public service by founding, and becoming the first Executive Director of, Legal Services for Seniors, with offices in Monterey and Salinas.  Returning to Monterey College of Law as a consultant, she was the Director of Clinical Programs and developed both the Small Claims Advisory Clinic and a Domestic Relations Restraining Order program.

Penn continued to consult on educational and organizational development projects for local and state entities, including California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB).  She conducted a needs assessment to determine potential partnerships, surveyed and reported on the needs of the disabled, wrote grant requests for service-learning projects and represented CSUMB at community meetings. As a result of her work, Penn became an Associate Professor and the Founding Director of the CSUMB Service Learning Institute, where she formulated a coordinated plan for service learning,developed the curricular service learning opportunities for students, faculty and staff, and raised over $1.5 million for operations.

Returning to her consulting work, Penn continued to share her commitment to public service and her intimate knowledge of the local communities with dozens of charitable organizations and individual philanthropists.  A recent endeavor of hers is as a Coordinator of The Fund for Homeless Women, one of the funders of A Gathering for Women, a facility in downtown Monterey serving homeless women.

Penn has served in various capacities on the Monterey County Commission on the Status of Women, Monterey County Women Lawyers’ Association, Monterey County Planned Parenthood, Development Executives Network, Monterey County Elder Abuse Council, and the National Coalition Building Institute.  Currently she is on the Board of Directors of the Arkay Foundation.

She is the recipient of awards from Soroptimist International of Carmel Bay and of Monterey, is a Fellow of CSUMB, and was given the Philanthropist Day Award in 2005.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate from Cornell University, Marian received her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School cum laude where she was the Book Review Editor and Treasurer of the Civil Rights/Civil Liberties Law Review.