Newsletter - February 2023

Pasadena High School Alumni Association

Why Alumni do not donate to their high school

Very few high school alumni donate to their old school after graduation. Here are some reasons that people have expressed:

  • Not everyone has an emotional attachment to the school.
  • Many students migrate to other distant cities and states.
  • Some alumni do not have the funds to donate.
  • There are family constraints: one spouse may want to donate to their old school, but the spouse rejects that opportunity.
  • Sometimes a principal or school administration does not express appreciation for donations. Donations need to be acknowledged.
  • Some people think that this is someone else’s responsibility.
  • Many do not have a sense of gratitude for their education, or value the school and teachers that contributed to their lives.

Why do alumni donate to their high school?

They realize the significance of education in their lives for growth and development. They really want to express gratitude through donations.

One of the reasons I am devoted to working with our Alumni Association is gratitude for several teachers who guided and inspired me with future consequences. My English teacher, John Stewart, mentored my creative writing, which would result years later in becoming a published author. My speech teacher, Lois Harding, a strict and demanding instructor, mentored my participation in speech and debate teams, leading to a preaching ministry as a parish priest.

We hope that this alumni newsletter sparks your memories of activities and education at PHS and that you can find that deep place of gratitude in your heart to donate to our work this year. One of our key goals is to offer academic scholarships to promising scholars at the PHS Spring Awards Assembly.

Father Brad Karelius, PHS 1963

PHSAA Board Member

Please send your donation to:

Pasadena High School Alumni Association (PHSAA) 530 S. Lake Ave., #961 Pasadena, CA 91101 (626) 767-2925 The PHSAA is a certified 501(c)(3) non profit.,

News from PHS Alumni Association Board Meeting

Here are the news/notes from the January 2023 Pasadena High School Alumni Association meeting.

  • Last meeting recap: Yano Aghilli spoke on risk management, foundation of building the association, fundraising and how it can be dispersed and the fundraising rules.
  • Storage is needed for the Alumni Association pop up, t-shirts and other items. The PHS Principal, Dr. Mathew Kodama, will look for an available location within the school to store our items.
  • Pasadena High School is looking to rename the library after Mrs. Harriet Hammond. Mrs. Hammond began working at PHS in 1980 as a math teacher and was at PHS for 40 years. The school is asking for letters from the alumni to support the naming of the library after Mrs. Hammond. Please email your letters to Dr. Mathew Kodama at or mail them to his attention to Pasadena High School 2925 E. Sierra Madre Blvd., Pasadena CA 91107.
  • Dr. Kodama spoke of an intern program to partner up local small businesses with students at Pasadena High School. The school is looking for alumni with small businesses to join in this intern partnership. If you are interested please contact Dr. Kodama at
  • There are a large percentage of children in the Pasadena Unified School District that are foster children or in foster care that need support from alumni. A mentor to walk with them on Senior Nights or to attend their award ceremonies. If you are interested in mentoring a PHS foster student please email Dr. Kodama at
  • Were you a part of an organization, sports program, band, social club or other group/activity while at Pasadena High School? The school is looking for alumni that are willing to come back and speak to current students about their experiences in these organizations and groups while they attended Pasadena High School. If you would be willing to share your experiences please email Dr. Kodama at
  • The Pasadena High School Associated Student Body (ASB) is currently working on raising money for the refresh of the campus murals and peeling banners. There is a campus cleanup/refresh day in the works. The school is asking for donations of red and white rosebushes, money for new benches, tables for the quad, shades for the eating areas, white sycamore trees, planter boxes and umbrellas for the tables. If you are interested in making a donation please contact Dr. Mathew Kodama at
  • Discussions for fundraising: Scholarship fund raising before spring, Food truck night, spaghetti dinner and live music, pancake breakfast, etc.
  • Pasadena Alumni Association has completed the linkage to the school district so we are now incorporated.
  • The Pasadena High School Alumni Association taxes have been taken care of and the tax ID is now live.
  • It was discussed that additional board members are needed for a quorum to follow bylaws and report to the state. There must be nine board members for a quorum. The current board members are Rick Dones (President), Laura Huitrado (Treasurer), Father Brad Karelius and Terri Parker Qualles. Appointees added to the board include: Heather Griffin (Secretary), Alvin Marks, Cheryl Morris, Lee Tanya Murray, Lauren Radcliff and Marianne Valmonte.
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Notable Bulldog Alumna Loretta Thompson-Glickman (1945-2001)

Loretta Jean Thompson-Glickman was an American politician and jazz musician. She became the first African American mayor of Pasadena in 1982 and the first Black woman to be a mayor of an American city of over 100,000 residents. She graduated in the Pasadena High School Class of 1963.

As a jazz singer, she toured with the New Christy Minstrels, retiring to start a family. She taught high school English in Pasadena. Loretta continued to share her gifts as a musician, becoming choir director at several churches. She later worked as an investment and financial aid counselor. President of the Pasadena Human Relations Committee, Loretta was the first Black woman member of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association.

She died in 2001 at the age of 55. The Loretta Glickman Endowment Fund for African American Youth was established in her memory by the Pasadena Community Foundation.

Several other Pasadena High School alums have served as mayor of Pasadena, including Christopher Holden, California Assembly member, 41st District, and the current Mayor of Pasadena, Victor Gordo.

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Visual Arts and Design Academy (VADA)

The Pasadena High School Visual Arts and Design Academy (VADA) students were the scenic design and construction team for the PUSD All Star Musical Into the Woods. In collaboration with Pasadena Playhouse the all high school Pasadena Unified School District PUSD Arts production was held January 26 - 27, 2023 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

The students began last November meeting with scenic design consultant Emily Auble and VADA lead teacher Ms. Gorecki to talk design process and get concepts moving for the show. This design team put in many, many hours during vacations and on the weekends planning, sketching and painting. During winter break the team worked some serious hours painting the MASSIVE tree trunk textures that filled the stage.

VADA is part of the Creative Arts, Media and Design (CAMAD) pathway at Pasadena High School. Through a combination of academic courses, visual arts and design projects, students obtain real-world skills and hands-on experience to pursue an Art and Design college. With an integrated Art and Design college-preparatory curriculum, students receive a solid education and an extensive understanding of their place among the many roles Art and Design play in society. More information on the CAMAD programs can be found on the Pasadena High School website.

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Bulldog Athletics

The Winter Sports Season (Boys & Girls Basketball, Boys & Girls Soccer, Girls Water Polo) will soon be coming to a close. Next up are the Spring Sports including Baseball, Boys Tennis, Boys Volleyball, Golf, Softball, Swimming and Track/Field. The athletic schedules can be found in the Calendar section of the Pasadena High School website. We hope you will have the opportunity to attend a few games/matches. Join us in supporting our student athletes. GO BIG RED!

Harriet G. Hammond 1931 - 2022

With heavy hearts, Pasadena High School announces the passing of Mrs. Harriet Hammond. Throughout her 40 year career at PHS, Mrs. Hammond taught countless students, inspired many colleagues, and created a treasure trove of lasting memories and lessons. In the classroom, she was a devout educator, truly believing that every student had the potential to excel in mathematics. Outside the classroom, it was a common sight to see Mrs. Hammond cheering on the athletes, musicians, and dancers on Friday nights. For many years, Mrs. Hammond led a legion of Bulldogs to victory at the annual Math Field Day. Mrs. Hammond left an everlasting impact on our community during her tenure. Even as her students graduated, class by class, she continued to reach out with greetings and warm wishes during the holiday seasons. More touching, Mrs. Hammond always inquired about one's future plans and life updates while sharing some of her own. Since her retirement in 2020, we have greatly missed seeing her on campus everyday. Through great sorrow and boundless appreciation, we say goodbye to this remarkable woman. The Hammond Family asks that all cards be send to Pasadena High School.

The following is from her Celebration of Life and Love held on January 12, 2003:

Harriet Elizabeth Gregg was born on September 19, 1931 in Baltimore, Maryland to Joshua and Hilda Gregg. She was the first born of four children. Harriet and her siblings were raised in a Christian home in the Maryland countryside. Harriet went to live with her grandmother (affectionately known as Grand Hattie) in Washington D.C., where she attended Paul Lawrence Dunnbar High School. Harriet was an active member of the Jr. ROTC.

After high school Harriet attended and graduated from Howard University in Washington D.C. Harriet earned her Bachelor's in Mathematics from Howard. She graduated with honors. Continuing her education at Howard University, and at the age of 22, Harriet earned her Master's degree also graduating with honors. While at Howard University, she was a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

After graduation, Harriet was recruited by several major U.S. Companies - International Business Machines (IBM) being a major recruiter. The passion to be an educator, and to follow in her father's footsteps, Harriet decided to become an educator; thus embarking on a 65 year career as a math teacher. Her career had stops in Baltimore, Maryland, Bronx, New York, culminating in a 40 year stop at Pasadena High School (PHS). She served long enough to teach children of former students and to have former students return to PHS as teachers.

On August 8, 1954, Harriet married Albert Hammond Jr. in Baltimore Maryland. From this union, two children were born - Melayne and Myron. Harriet is survived by her two children, daughter-in-law (Sylvia Rivera Hammond), two grandchildren (Nyla and Isaiah), and many nieces and nephews.

She will be buried along side her husband Albert, Jr., who preceded her in death in 2003.

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Pasadena High School Alumni Association

We are a nonprofit organization 501(c)(3) focused on helping the students and staff at Pasadena High School make our former alma mater into a great learning experience. We organize fundraisers, award scholarships and hold community-building events.