Pasadena Community Foundation Funds

Loretta Glickman Endowment for African American Youth

Mayor Loretta Glickman standing in front of Pasadena City Hall. Photo taken from Ebony Magazine, August 1982

Loretta Thompson-Glickman was born in 1945 into a family that had lived in Pasadena since the early 1900s. She graduated from Pasadena High School in 1963 and then attended courses at Pasadena City College until 1968. She taught high school English within Pasadena Unified School District between 1970 to 1972. She also spent several years as a jazz singer, touring with the New Christy Minstrels. She married Saul Glickman in 1972 and retired from the entertainment industry in 1975 to start a family.

A Woman of Firsts

Glickman was a woman of firsts. In 1977, she became the first Black woman elected as a Pasadena City Director; a few days later, she became the first City Director to become a mother while in office – her youngest son was born just three days into her term. She also served as the first Black woman member of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association.

In 1982, at the young age of 36, she became the nation’s first Black woman mayor for a population exceeding 100,000, generating a great deal of regional and national press. “There was the possibility that a minority might not get to be mayor here for many years to come. And it was my turn,” she recalled of the moment in a 1983 issue of Jet magazine. Glickman is credited with making local government more accessible to residents of Northwest Pasadena, resulting in residents becoming more involved in civic affairs.

The Glickmans divorced, and Loretta later moved from California to marry Elijah Austin, who was pastor of New Jerusalem Baptist Church in Lubbock, Texas. In the late 1990s, she started working as a financial aid advisor for the Lubbock Campus. In March, 2001, she died unexpectedly in Lubbock at the age of 55.

Friends Create a Memorial Fund

The money for the Loretta Glickman Endowment fund for African-American Youth was raised by a group of friends in Pasadena who gathered to celebrate her life in 2001 after her sudden passing. These funds seeded an endowment at the Pasadena Community Foundation that pays tribute to Loretta Glickman in perpetuity.  The fund has distributed annual grants to organizations that support local African American youth, including the Pasadena Delta Foundation, the Pasadena Altadena Community Endowment Fund, and Gamma Zeta Boule Foundation.

After Loretta’s sudden death, her friends created a memorial endowment in her name. Pictured are Dolores Hickambottom, far left; Betty Jean Ho; unknown; and at far right, Gerda Govine.

“Loretta’s goal as mayor was to respond to needs in all sectors of Pasadena,” noted Dolores Hickambottom in 2012, when she was interviewed for a PCF newsletter article. Hickambottom served as field representative for Glickman during her tenure on the Pasadena City Council. “She created a legacy of inclusion and goodwill that continues today, years following her taking office.  Now we will create a legacy that honors her values.”

Endowments are the cornerstone of PCF’s mission to build hometown legacies. The corpus of each endowed fund is invested with PCF’s portfolio for long-term growth. Each year, the endowments generate the funds that support PCF’s local grantmaking, which enriches the arts community, protects our environment, provides health care and critical social services, and bolsters public education in Pasadena. Endowments are permanent legacies for our community; these funds will continue to grow and provide philanthropic support forever.

Learn more about creating an endowment at PCF.

Created 2012


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