Pasadena City College Foundation Announces $1.5 Million Gift

Pasadena, CALIF. (Nov. 23, 2020) – The Pasadena City College Foundation is honored to announce a $1.5 million bequest from the estate of Adelaide Finkbine Hixon. Hixon was an enthusiastic supporter of PCC and a proud advocate for education. In 2000, she gave a gift of $1 million to the College, which was used to establish the Hixon Teacher Preparation Program. On November 10th, 2020, the Foundation received an additional $1.5 million bequest in her will.

Of the $1.5 million gift, $1 million will go toward the continued support of the Hixon Teacher Preparation Program, which aims to increase career opportunities for PCC students who want to teach K-12. The additional $500,000 will go toward students who plan to teach in the Visual and Performing Arts.

The Hixon Teacher Preparation Program is the first of its kind at PCC. It currently has over 450 students enrolled, most of whom plan to transfer to a variety of California State University and  University of California campuses to pursue a teaching credential after receiving their bachelor’s degree. Students have access to academic counseling and enrichment activities, internships, mentorships, tutoring opportunities, scholarship opportunities, and experiences working as teacher aids. Additionally, because of this bequest, a hybrid program in tandem with the Visual and Performing Arts, will be established to assist students who are majoring in the arts with scholarships and provide them an opportunity to also pursue their teaching credential.

“The program supports PCC students who are interested in teaching as a profession,” said Leticia Rojas, Faculty Lead for the Hixon Teacher Preparation Program. “The community college level is a great space to get more diverse teacher pathways. With the additional funds, we can better support the program and expand it, which will allow students from different backgrounds, different interests, and different art forms to bring what they have to the table.”

Locally, Adelaide Hixon has been a longtime leader in organizations supporting art and education, including the Pasadena Art Alliance, the Conservatory of Music, Southern California Public Radio, the Pasadena Art Museum, the ArtCenter College of Design, Polytechnic School, and the California Institute of Technology.

At PCC, however, Hixon wanted to do something that would make a significant impact not just on the College but on the community. That was when, in 2000, the decision was made to invest in a program at PCC that would foster future teachers.

“It’s a natural pairing, the Hixon Teacher Prep Program with the Visual and Performing Arts,” said Rojas. “We have an opportunity to explore the interdisciplinary parts of education. The arts, we know, is one of the under-supported subjects in many schools because of the huge push for STEM. But we also know that the arts are alive and well in our communities. Here, we’re offering an opportunity to get support for art back in the K-12 classrooms. Helping students who want to go into teaching, whether it’s in the STEM field or the arts, is so important. And we can see that PCC students are excited for these opportunities. Our numbers are growing in the program. Our goal last year was to increase our students by 150, and we did that. If every year we can increase by 150, this program is going to be a real trailblazer.”

“We are so grateful for the profound generosity of the Hixons,” added PCC Foundation President Gloria Pitzer. “These endowment gifts will provide funding in perpetuity for education and the arts, areas in which the Hixons have exhibited generous and longstanding support during their lifetimes. This legacy of support to PCC will enable and equip our students, many of whom might not otherwise have the opportunity, to become educators, with additional emphasis on training teachers in the arts.”

The Pasadena City College Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable, public-benefit corporation that develops funding and community support for the enhancement of teaching and learning at Pasadena City College.