The flamboyant 1960s marked the rise of the Beatles, counterculture, and space exploration. The first program offered by the Lyceum was a tutorial for just one student. Within three years, 850 students attended various Lyceum classes and workshops. In 1963, the Lyceum was incorporated into the Monterey Peninsula Association for Gifted Students.
The decade of economic prosperity and Wall Street helped the Lyceum to finally make the move from rented houses to its current permanent location on Sixth Street, near downtown Monterey. The explosive economic growth of the 1980s brought a 300% increase in enrollment. For the first time, the Lyceum began to expand its programs to include high school students and added new family workshops and language programs. Seminar topics ranged from “He-Man Meets Ulysses”, to “Monterey Bay Aquarium Marine Biology”, to “Animal Care”. The Lyceum started a robust music program which included a choral workshop, a Jazz workshop, and a Bach Festival workshop.
On the eve of Lyceum’s 25th anniversary, the first county-wide Spelling Bee competition was inaugurated by former board member Dr. Adrienne Meckel (deceased) and former Executive Director, Libby Downey (currently a councilwoman in Monterey). Over 70 classes were offered and by this period, Lyceum classes were extended to Marina, Seaside and Salinas.
The 2000s is marked by globalizations and world conflicts. The Lyceum’s goal, as articulated by Wanda Pan-Christiansen, former Executive Director, “is to bring 21st century education to Monterey students today”. As a result, this decade saw an increase in new and innovative programs that are in sync with today’s changing world.
To spearhead this new thinking, the Lyceum launched three Model United Nations workshops in 2009 to assist Monterey students with an understanding of world cultures. This was followed in April 2010 with the first-ever Model United Nations conference, a world-wide program in 35 countries that is a simulation of various United Nations meetings. Participants in Model UN not only gain an understanding of current events, but work together to identify solutions to world problems.
The era of bell bottom pants led the way to more new programs, to include an arts program for under privileged students throughout the county. By 1979, the Lyceum summer program had grown to 43 workshops in the areas of arts, sciences, and humanities. The classes were held at various places, to include the founders’ homes, schools and rented facilities.
The 1990s brought about the proliferation of media news outlets and the rise of the internet. It was during this period that the first History Day academic event was introduced). Former Lyceum Executive Director Forbes Keaton (now with All Saints School) started the county-wide program with just 50 students at the PG Middle School. History Day now averages over 150 students per year.
As program demands continued, the Lyceum was asked by the Monterey Peninsula Unified District to provide after school classes to at risk youths and after school programs within the district. It was during this period that the founders, Vera and Claire died (1995 and 1996 respectively). In 1997, the Lyceum launched Mock Trial, a state-wide program for high school students that simulates a real court trial.
In the late 1990s, Lyceum was featured in a special educational edition of Newsweek magazine, thus achieving national notice. Classes offered during this decade include: “The Internet for Beginners”, “Sign Language” and “Introduction to Hang-Gliding”.
With the new 2010 decade came a new Executive Director - Tom Nelson, and with him came new and more robust programs including Expanding Your Horizons, iLead+Design, High School Model UN, and Cyber Adventure Camp in partnership with Hartnell College and NPS. These programs create more intensive and innovative learning experiences for students, immersing them in a wide variety of subject matter from science and technology, to international studies and design thinking principles.
In this decade the Lyceum looks to create similar "bigger and better" programs for students that create a more robust picture of the many different aspects of a field of study, and exposes them to teachers and mentors within those fields.