Jeff L. Grubbe, outgoing Tribal Chairman of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, has been named the recipient of the inaugural Palm Springs Unified School District Alumni Spotlight Award. The prestigious Award honors a distinguished Palm Springs Unified School District alum whose contributions to the Coachella Valley community is worthy of recognition, commendation, and celebration. The Award will be presented at the upcoming event, “ONE NIGHT OUT – HAVANA NIGHTS,” a festive celebration on October 1, 2022. 

Grubbe spent more than 10 years as Chairman of the Tribal Council. During his tenure, the Tribe successfully achieved several notable accomplishments, among establishing the Richard Milanovich Fellowship at George Washington University; partnering with the Smithsonian’s National Museum to provide insight and guidance for exhibits on the American Indian; an increase in generous and diverse philanthropic funding in our community. Additionally, Grubbe oversaw the successful Tribal creation of the Palm Springs Unified School District’s Native Studies curriculum. This pioneering program, a unique collaboration between the District, The Foundation for Palm Springs Unified School District and the Tribe, received national recognition from the American Indian Economic Development Project at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

“I’m a proud 1995 graduate of Palm Springs High School, and I am deeply honored to be a recipient of this Award,” said Jeff L. Grubbe, former Chairman of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. “This recognition is really the outcome of the Tribe and the Foundation working together to find opportunities that result in the betterment of our community, through education. Our curriculum project in partnership with the Palm Springs Unified School District and the Foundation is not only setting the stage for others to follow, but it’s setting the course for greater understanding about the Tribe and who we are right here in our community, a place that we have called home since time immemorial. It’s removing all stereotypes and misconceptions our community has had about my Tribe and our people. For that, I am truly grateful. This all started with my friendship with Ellen Goodman and conversations we’ve had about the Tribe and Education. Thank you, Achama.” 

On October 1st, the Palm Springs Air Museum will be transformed into “Old Havana” with classic cars, hand-rolled cigars, live music and dancing. Live entertainment is provided the Gand Band and DJ ModGirl with bites and beverages by Lulu’s Catering. This PSUSD Alumni production has brought together alums from six decades to honor Grubbe and to create a platform that benefits The Foundation for Palm Springs Unified School District. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) that funds educational enhancement projects in support of the District’s community of 22,000 students. The entire community is invited to attend. 

For details on One Night Out, Havana Nights, go to: For more information on The Foundation for Palm Springs Unified School District: