The Optical Oceanography graduate course has been offered for 30 years, typically every other summer, with a few longer gaps from time to time. Over 200 graduate students, postdocs, and other professionals from around the United States and all over the world have taken and benefited from the course. Students come from a diversity of backgrounds and interests, ranging from primary productivity, harmful algal blooms, and biogeochemical cycling to sediment transport and more. What binds these students together is a desire to learn how to use and apply optical measurements to address science and management questions. Past graduates of the course are today’s leaders in the field, working in government, academia, and industry; the class’s more recent graduates are well on their ways to join the past graduates in leadership roles.