As part of Pasadena City College's ongoing recognition of Black History Month, we are taking a look back at some of PCC's most celebrated African-American alumni. This is the second installment of the February series.
Alton Ballard graduated from PCC in 1941 with an associate degree and went on to fly more than 65 successful missions as a member of the "All Negro Mustang Fighter Group" in World War II. As one of the Tuskegee Airmen, he was awarded the Air Medal for meritorious achievement. He, along with his family, have dedicated their lives to education.
If you're a Los Angeles Lakers fan, you probably know all about Michael Cooper. An original member of the Lakers' "Showtime" squad. Cooper graduated from PCC in 1976 before being drafted by the Lakers in 1978. Cooper won five National Basketball Association championships as a Laker. Currently, he is the head coach of the USC Women of Troy college basketball team.
Internationally renowned artist Betye Saar graduated from PCC in 1947, but her contributions to the campus continued as a member of the PCC Sculpture Garden Committee. Saar's works are part of many museum collections, including the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C., the Los Angeles County Museum of Modern Art, and in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, to name just a few.
You may recognize the name Galloway. William Galloway earned his associate degree from PCC in 1961 and quickly established himself as a real estate investor-developer. An active member of the PCC Foundation, he gave generously not only to the Sculpture Garden but to community as well as a volunteer and philanthropist. The naming of the Galloway Plaza combines his personal interests—giving to the community and offering the public the opportunity to see art in an open environment.
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.