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News: PCC Spotlights Alumni as Part of African American History Month

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Pasadena City College has long been known for its commitment to social justice and equality. In celebrating Black History Month 2013, we take a look back at some of PCC’s most celebrated African-American alumni. This is but the first installment of the February series.

You’ve probably heard that Jackie Robinson attended PCC. As the first African American to play professional baseball, Robinson was an integral part of moving civil rights forward. He graduated in 1939, and signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, when he was declared Rookie of the Year. By 1949 he was named Most Valuable Player. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.

Actor and pilot Michael Dorn is perhaps best known for his role on Star Trek: The Next Generation where he played Lieutenant Worf. Star Trek fans might know that Dorn obtained his pilot’s license between seasons, and flies when he isn’t working. Before he was an iconic television personality, he obtained an associate degree from PCC in 1972.

Acclaimed science fiction writer Octavia Butler, who passed away in 2006, received her associate degree from PCC in 1968. Often referred to as the “grand dame of science fiction,” Butler wrote 13 books and won numerous awards, including the prestigious Hugo and Nebula Awards, and the MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant.” Butler often visited PCC to speak to students about the craft of writing and as a volunteer instructor.

Former Monrovia Mayor Robert Bartlett entered the world of politics in 1974, when he was elected to city council. He was appointed mayor in 1976, becoming the first African-American mayor for Monrovia. Bartlett was reelected five times, and initiated an ambitious redevelopment plan for Monrovia, which is now considered a model for redevelopment throughout the state of California. He earned his associate degree in 1959, and has followed in his family’s tradition of service to the community.

For more information about PCC’s African-American History month celebration, contact Beverly Tate at (626) 585-7653 or Gena Lopez at (626) 585-7255.

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Release Date: 02/05/2013
Contact: Juan F. Gutierrez , Director, Public Relations
Phone: (626) 585-7315
Email: jfgutierrez@pasadena.edu