The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law (COL), the region’s oldest and largest independent law school, celebrates a half century of service to the local legal and business communities with a 50th Anniversary Gala, 6-10 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Museum of Ventura County, 100 E. Main St.

Distinguished alumni, local attorneys, and business leaders will gather to recognize the law school’s historic achievements during an evening of fine dining and entertainment.

COL was established as the Ventura College of Law in 1969. The Santa Barbara College of Law followed in 1974 with the schools merging in 1978. Since its inception, COL prided itself on having a faculty comprised of judges and practicing attorneys who brought real-world experience into a practical learning environment.

Some five decades and more than 2,000 graduates later, COL alumni include numerous distinguished members of the local legal community.

In Santa Barbara, recognized alumni include Judges Edward Bullard, Colleen K. Sterne, Von Nguyen Deroian and District Attorneys Joyce Dudley and Christie Stanley. In Ventura, alumni include Judges Rebecca Riley, Edward F. Brodie, Ellen Gay Conroy, David W. Long, JoAnn Johnson and William Redmond.

In recognition of the caliber of service and contribution to the local legal community, COL alumnae, Judge Colleen Toy White, will be presented with school’s inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award at the gala.

A 1977 graduate of COL, Toy White served 23 years on the Ventura County Superior Court following 18 years in the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office, 10 of those as assistant chief district attorney. During her tenure at court, she served as presiding judge in 2007 and 2008, and as supervising family law judge.

She initiated actions to develop the Community Intervention Court, Dependency Drug Court, Elder Law Court and Mental Health Court.

Of special note is White’s groundbreaking contribution to develop tailored, holistic solutions for veterans facing criminal charges under the auspices of the Veterans Court Treatment Program named in her honor in 2018.

Gala tickets are available online at or at the Colleges of Law campuses, 4475 Market St. Ventura, and 20 E. Victoria St., Santa Barbara. Tickets are $125 per guest, or table sponsors — $1,000 for table of 10; $900 for table of eight.

The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law is an affiliate of TCS Education System, a nonprofit system of colleges advancing student success and community impact.

For more information, visit

— Kryztofr Kaine for Santa Barbara and Ventura Colleges of Law.