Jane Goodall Serves as Rose Parade Grand Marshal - NBC Southern California

Jane Goodall Serves as Rose Parade Grand Marshal

Goodall was 26 when she entered the world of chimpanzees in what is now Tanzania



    Jane Goodall Serves as Rose Parade Grand Marshal
    AP Image
    Jane Goodall, famed for her work with chimpanzees in Africa and for her efforts on behalf of endangered species everywhere, is seen in the 124th Rose Parade in Pasadena.

    A lifelong advocate for the protection of endangered species served as grand marshal for the 124 Tournament of Roses Parade Tuesday in Pasadena.

    The theme for this year's parade, "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" was selected with grand marshal Dr. Jane Goodall in mind, according to parade officials.

    "The theme can be interpreted as a celebration of accomplishment,  discovery and travel of course, but equally valid is its implicit call to  action,'' Tournament of Roses President Sally Bixby said. "We think Dr. Goodall's life story is a testament to the  sense of adventure and openness to possibility that this phrase suggests. As a  young woman, she defied convention to follow her dreams, and she has committed  herself to a life of global citizenship, inspiring children and adults alike  along the way."

    The 78-year-old Goodall, a lifelong advocate for the protection of  endangered species, rode in a horse-drawn carriage. She was accompanied by members of Roots and Shoots, her institute's global environmental and humanitarian youth  program.

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    Goodall immersed herself into the habitat of  chimpanzees in Tanzania's Gombe National Park, documenting the personalities of  individual chimpanzees and their human-like characteristics.

    In 1977, she founded the Jane Goodall Institute, a nonprofit  organization. In 1991, she worked with a group of students in Tanzania to form Roots & Shoots.

    "New Year's Day symbolizes the opportunity to work toward new goals,  experience new beginnings and make a difference,'' Goodall said. "My dream for  this New Year's Day is for everyone to think of the places we can all go if we  work together to make our world a better place."

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    The parade broadcast included a recorded message from Goodall. She will flip the coin at the start of the Rose Bowl game between Stanford and Wisconsin, scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.