2009 Hall of Fame Inductees
Col. Donald J. Alser
Donald J. Alser graduated from John Muir High School in 1950 and
John Muir College in 1952. Col. Alser made significant contributions
to the United States missile and space programs during his 32 years
of military service in the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Air Force. After
graduating from Muir High in 1950, and Muir College in 1952, he was
appointed to the United States Naval Academy where he lettered in
football and track and field, playing quarterback and setting
conference and Academy records in the javelin. Upon graduating in
1956, he was commissioned into the Air Force and assigned as Launch
Control Officer of the inaugural TM 76A missile squadron. He
acquired a master’s degree in astronautical engineering, continued
his involvement with space launch vehicles at the Air Force Rocket
Lab at Edwards AFB, and was assigned to the Titan III Systems
Program as project officer for the development of Stage I and II
rocket engines. He also was assigned to the secretary of Air Force
Space Systems at the Pentagon, as staff officer supporting the
acquisition of National Space Intelligence Systems. For his
achievements, he was awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal
for heroic action in combat.
John Calmore graduated from John Muir High School in 1963. He
was a popular student with top grades, a top athlete and
participated in school government activities. He was a natural born
leader. After Muir, he attended Stanford University, one of only
two graduates of the class of 1963 to attend Stanford. He then
attended Harvard Law School and was one of the first
African-Americans to graduate from Harvard with a law degree.
After law school, instead of launching into a career at a big
corporate law firm, John devoted his life to helping to bring
justice to the poor and disadvantaged. He worked for the National
Housing Law Project and the Legal Aid Foundation.
He was a renowned attorney during the civil rights movement of the
1960s. He met and advised many of the civil rights leaders of the
In 1985, John became a law professor at the University of North
Carolina where he served until a few years before his death. He
taught civil rights, critical race theory, and social justice.
Ricky Ervins graduated from John Muir High School in 1987.
Ervins participated in football, baseball and track and field at
Muir. As a running back, he helped lead the Mustangs to California
big-school Coastal Conference titles in 1985 and 1986, with a
perfect 14-0 record his senior year.
He played football and participated in track and field at USC. In
his junior season he led the Pac 10 in rushing with 1,395 yards (the
most at USC since Marcus Allen) and a team-high 10 touchdowns. He
was also the team’s second leading receiver with 39 catches (the
most ever by a Trojan running back). He is a member of the National
High School Football Hall of Fame and the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame,
gaining 126 yards for USC in the 1990 Trojan victory over Michigan.
Ervins was drafted in 1991 by the Washington Redskins of the
National Football League, leading all NFC rookies with 4.7 yards per
carry and became the first Muir grad to win a Super Bowl, gaining 72
yards on 13 carries to lead all rushers in Super Bowl XXVI vs.
Buffalo. He is one of only six Redskins to gain over 100 yards in a
playoff game. Ricky played five years in the NFL; four years with
the Washington Redskins and one year with the San Francisco 49ers. H
now runs a business, Xtreme Xplosion, which trains high school
athletes in Northern Virginia.
Ettinger graduated from John Muir High School in 1976. Mr.
Ettinger is the ninth CEO in the history of Hormel Foods
Corporation. He is also the president and chairman of the board for
the Austin, Minnesota-based company. He oversees all functions and
operations for the $5.75 billion multinational business. He began
his career with Hormel in 1989 as a corporate attorney and, in 1993,
was named senior attorney. In 1995, he became the Hormel chili
product manager in the grocery products division. He was named
assistant treasurer in 1997 and was promoted to treasurer in 1998.
The following year, Ettinger became Hormel Foods vice president and
Jennie-O Foods president. In 2001, following the acquisition of The
Turkey Store Company, he was appointed president and chief operating
officer of Jennie-O Turkey Store. He was named a Hormel Foods Group
vice president later that year. In 2003, he assumed the additional
title of chief executive officer of Jennie-O Turkey Store. Ettinger
was named president and chief operating officer of Hormel Foods in
2004 and was elected chief executive officer in 2005. He was elected
chairman of the board for Hormel Foods in November, 2006.
Barbara Mossberg, Ph.D
Barbara Mossberg graduated from John Muir High School in 1966.
Mossberg, a professor at California State University, Monterey Bay,
is president emeritus of Goddard College (Vermont) and a senior
scholar at the James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership at the
University of Maryland. She is also an activist and educational
leader who weave between being a poet, lecturer, scholar, author,
consultant, radio hostess and actress, in a career that spans
college and university teaching, and academic administration,
community and national service and federal and international
appointments. She has won numerous teaching awards for her emphasis
on promoting creativity and expression for greater consciousness in
how humanity treats one another and the earth. She has received
international acclaim for her work in American studies, global
studies and the role of arts and humanities in public policy,
leadership studies, interdisciplinary studies and environmental
affairs. Mossberg’s connections to John Muir go well beyond her high
school days. According to the Sierra Club—the organization founded
by John Muir—Mossberg mentions her formative years at Muir in many
of her presentation and how it was the foundation of her entire
academic career and devotion to John Muir’s ongoing environmental
A. Peters, Sr. graduated from John Muir Technical High School in
1930. At Muir he was a scholar-athlete in three sports, football,
track and basketball, and also had a 3.9 GPA. He was also involved
in many activities and organizations. As a result his yearbook
picture had this quote: “Rather starve before I would steal!” This
character analysis is the thread for the future life of Lewis A.
After Muir he attended PJC (now PCC) and continued his efforts as he
persevered in athletics (3-sport lettermen) and academics. He
taught himself the German language and volunteered his talent in
German to interpret for the world famous scientist Albert Einstein
on stage at Cal Tech in 1931. Imagine the startling significance
of this happening, here the most important scientific white figure
on stage with a black man who interpreted and spoke for Einstein
relaying the information in English.
He got hired in 1932 with the postal service on the army base in San
Francisco and lasted in this position until 1942. He returned to
Pasadena and was employed in the U.S. Postal Service as a clerk.
During this time he became a charter member of the NAACP and sought
to implement changes for minorities in the manner he ran his life.
He sought a higher level of compensation by taking management
classes for eight years and became a supervisor in 1960. He was
devoted to his family and his church, the First AME Church in
Pasadena. In 1962, the color line was broken as Lewis became a
Supervisor, Pasadena’s first black supervisor. He remained in the
postal service as supervisor for 10 years until his retirement in
1972. He died in 1982 after an amazing life in the Pasadena
community served by his legacy of living by example for the equality
of all people. As a Civil rights advocate, like Jackie Robinson did
in sports, he did the same for minorities for local civil rights in
the work place. The late Lewis Alexander Peters was the father of
John Muir High Hall of Fame recipient Lewis Peters II (Class of
1963); marking the first time the prestigious honor has been
bestowed on two generations of the same family.
Sylvia Martin Walker
Martin Walker graduated from John Muir High School in 1960. Ms.
Walker is an internationally known artist, whose work is displayed
throughout the United States, including the principal’s office at
John Muir High School. A Pasadena native, Walker studied at the
California Institute of the Arts, earning a bachelor of fine arts
degree. Her works include freelance children’s fashion illustration
for clients Simplicity and McCall’s pattern companies. Other clients
include Keystone Health Partners, the Coca-Cola Company National
Adoption Center, Antiock Publishing and Woodtones Publishing Group.
She expanded her focus to illustrating numerous children’s’ books
for publishers, Just Us Books, Dover Publications, Scholastic Harper
Collins, Western Publishing, Essence Golden Books, Highlights
Magazine and Penguin Putnam Books. She uses a variety of media to
express herself, including watercolor, pencil, ink and acrylic on
canvas. Her work is in the art collections of the late Dave Thomas
(founder of Wendy’s), Ed McMahon, Maury Povich and Connie Chung.
2015 Hall of Fame Nomination Form
Available August 2014
2014 Hall of Fame Induction
Saturday, November 8, 2014
John Muir HS Rufus Mead Auditorium
1905 N. Lincoln Ave. Pasadena, CA 91109