Adelaide Hixon, a Pasadena philanthropist and longtime patron of local institutions, including PCC, has left behind a history and legacy committed to educational opportunities for the Pasadena community following her death on Wednesday, Nov. 6.
“She’s been an inspiration to almost all who have come in contact with her,” said Bill Hawkins, president of the Pasadena City College Foundation (PCCF), a charitable organization whose community involvement and fundraising works for projects and endeavors on campus.
In a PCC tribute video memorial presented during a Board of Trustees meeting on Nov. 13, attendees saw a more personal side of Mrs. Hixon, told in her own words.
“I am a party girl, and everybody knows it,” Hixon said with a laugh in the opening of the video, which featured an Alicia Keys soundtrack. “People say ‘what interests you, what do you plan to support, why do you support what you support?’ The answer is education, education, education, and scholarship, scholarship, scholarship.”
In 2000, PCC’s Child Development Center resource center and programs for aspiring teachers launched with Hixon’s support of PCC. The donation covers scholarships and the costs of maintaining a suite of materials, equipment, and support staff for students working toward a four-year degree and teaching credentials.
“From their historic donation to create the Hixon Teacher Preparation Program, through the 2013 dedication of the Arts Building, and into 2015 with the 90th Celebration Gala for Student Success, Adelaide was a constant force for progress,” said PCCF Executive Director Bobbi Abram. “Adelaide donated to innovative academic programming, scholarships, artwork, art programs and that’s just at PCC.”
Hixon and her husband Alec were founding members of the board of directors for Southern California Public Radio (SCPR), heard on KPCC 89.3 FM and financially supported by PCC. News of Hixon’s death was announced on KPCC by host Larry Mantle during the Nov. 8 edition of “AirTalk.”
“What was great about Adelaide, she was completely committed to our mission of public service,” said Bill Davis, SCPR president emeritus. “But she also was equally committed that we not take ourselves – in her terms – so dreadfully seriously. I think it also made us much more credible when we reached out to communities that had not been traditionally well served by public media.”
Mantle recalled a favorite piece of advice frequently shared by Hixon.
“Offer friendship and see what happens.”
Adelaide Hixon was 101 years old.
“Adelaide’s active involvement with PCC spanned eight presidents, five executive directors of the foundation, three deans of visual arts, and five directors of the Hixon Teacher Prep program,” Abram said. “Adelaide was particularly focused on scholarships because of the diversity that it encouraged, and scholarships for teachers so that they could enlarge their abilities.”
Hixon’s involvement earned her another local distinction.
“During her lifetime, she was [the] PCC Foundation’s top individual donor,” Abram noted.