Eight Great Facts with President Alex

Some fun facts that showcase President Alex Aghajanian’s personal journey, the evolution of the Tournament of Roses and the unifying power of music within the events. We delve deeper into the rich history, cultural significance and personal connections surrounding the Rose Parade.

1. Persistence Pays Off: In 1987, Alex Aghajanian applied to volunteer with the Tournament of Roses and the Rose Parade, inspired by his childhood memories of the event. However, his application was initially rejected. Alex made adjustments to his application and was accepted in 1988 to volunteer for the 1989 Rose Parade.

2. Childhood Parade Traditions: Growing up in Pasadena, Alex had vivid memories of parade floats and equestrian units lining his neighborhood streets. His family would host New Year’s Eve celebrations with special guests like cowboy western stars and TV personalities in attendance.

3. Generational Parade Enthusiasm: Alex carried on his childhood parade traditions into adulthood. He camped out on the parade route with friends during high school, and he even invited his now wife, Paula, on an early date to experience the beauty of the parade floats.

4. Educational Background: Alex’s educational journey aligns with many of today’s parade participants. He studied at Pasadena City College, Cal Poly Pomona, and San Fernando Valley College of Law, fulfilling his dream of becoming a lawyer.

5. Musical Influence: This year’s Rose Parade theme, “Celebrating a World of Music: The Universal Language,” resonates with Alex’s life. Music played a significant role in his upbringing, with his mother teaching him piano and his involvement in the high school marching band.

6. Midnight Epiphany: The theme for the 2024 Tournament of Roses, “Celebrating a World of Music,” came to Alex in a unique way. He woke up at 2 a.m. with the idea after falling asleep while researching music videos.

7. Dream With Me Foundation: Alex and Paula’s shared musical passions led them to establish the Dream With Me Foundation, which supports vocal and instrumental arts in Southern California by providing scholarships and grants to students and non-professional musicians.

8. Tournament of Roses Tradition: The Tournament of Roses Parade began in 1890 as a marketing campaign to inspire tourism to Southern California. Over the years, it evolved into a beloved tradition that symbolizes unity, hope and the enduring allure of the region. The Rose Parade has transformed from its marketing origins in 1890 into a spectacular New Year’s Day event. It draws millions of spectators each year who eagerly tune in to witness the procession of floats, marching bands and equestrian units.