Magical Evening Celebrates PCC Student Success as Foundation Raises Over $1 Million

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5:51 am | May 17, 2015


The Pasadena City College Foundation held its first scholarship fundraiser Saturday and about 500 guests merrily mingled around the mirror pools (filled with candlelit paper boats) before hearing during the dinner program that the event had brought in $1,075,438 for student scholarships.

The evening started with guests gathering on the west and east lawns in front Sexson Auditorium. The crowd was studded with prominent citizens, educators and government officials — including incoming PCC Superintendent-President Rajen Vurdien, Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek and his wife, Maria, and Pasadena School Board Member Tom Selinske.

The event, which will commemorate 90 years of academic achievement at PCC, was chaired by Pasadena Area Community College District trustee Bill Thomson and his wife, Carol, and noted Southern California philanthropist Alyce de Roulet Williamson, co-chair — none of whom, as fate would have it, was able to attend.

The original “Mr. Pasadena” — Jim Watterson — with co-producer Nancy Neal Davis produced the magical evening, filled with huge-screened entertainment, dancing and an amazing laser show.

Proceeds from the gala will enable the PCC Foundation to award more than 200 additional scholarships every year, increasing the number of annual scholarships by nearly one-third to 850.

During the gala, the PCC Foundation recognized key contributors and partners who have played key roles in supporting the mission of the college and foundation. They are:

· Bill and Brenda Galloway – Real estate developers and philanthropists Bill Galloway, a PCC alumnus, and his wife, Brenda, run Summit Enterprises, a family-owned residential commercial property investment firm. He serves on the PCC Foundation advisory board, Pasadena Development Corporation and Pasadena Museum of California Art, among others. Brenda Galloway, the 2009 Woman of the Year for the 29th Congressional District, has been active with the Pasadena YMCA, Pasadena Playhouse, Pasadena Tournament of Roses Foundation and the L.A. County Commission for Children and Families. In 2000, they endowed Galloway Plaza, the first PCC campus facility to be named for an African American.

· The Boone-Fetter Family – MaryLou Boone and her children, Lynda Boone-Fetter (husband Blaine Fetter), Suzanne Boone and Nick Boone, as well as her grandchild, Nic (wife Nina) Fetter, have made philanthropy a family tradition. Spanning three generations, this family is being honored for its contributions to PCC, as well as other Southern California organizations. At PCC, the family named the Boone Sculpture Garden in 1999 and, more recently, the Boone Family Art Gallery at the new Center for the Arts that was dedicated in January 2014. MaryLou and the late Dr. George Boone also are benefactors of the MaryLou and George Boone Gallery at the Huntington Library, the California Dance Institute, the George and MaryLou Boone Chair in Craniofacial Molecular Biology at the USC School of Dentistry and the George and MaryLou Boone Center for Science and Environmental Leadership at USC.

· Pasadena Tournament of Roses – The Rose Parade has transformed Pasadena into one of the world’s most-recognized cities and home to America’s New Year’s Celebration®. PCC’s long relationship with the parade began in 1930, when the college’s marching band became the official Tournament of Roses Honor Band. In 2014, the honor band debuted new uniforms, which were purchased with financial support from the Tournament of Roses. Established in 1983, the nonprofit Tournament of Roses Foundation has awarded more than $2.5 million in grants to more than 170 Pasadena-area community organizations.

The gala featured what is believed to be Pasadena’s first large-scale 3D projection mapping display. Using digital mapping and visual animation technology, Paintscaping, a world leader in the industry, merged the real and virtual worlds, transforming the architecture of one of PCC’s historical buildings into a three-dimensional light show celebrating the college’s past, present and future.

“When it comes to earning a college degree, the lack of financial aid can be a deal-breaker for students and their families,” said John Gregory, president of the PCC Foundation board of directors. “The scholarship funds we are raising will help make a college education possible for the nearly 70 percent of PCC’s 25,000 students who need financial aid.”

Every year, PCC students face a shortfall of more than $50 million in financial aid – even with assistance from Pell grants, college district tuition waivers, and work study and student loan programs. The full cost of attendance includes not only tuition but books, supplies, food, housing, transportation and, in some cases, child care.