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Mills: Inside and Out
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Mills: Inside and Out

Mills College
Presidential Communication
January 5, 2018

TO: Mills College Faculty and Staff
FROM: Beth Hillman
SUBJECT: Mills: Inside and Out

Dear all,

The first week of the new year has been a dramatic one for climate events, with the earthquake nearby and the "bomb cyclone"—a new term to describe the high winds, low temperatures, and snow that's affected so much of the east coast—hitting so much of the country.

I feel fortunate to be in Florida for the Council of Independent Colleges' Presidents Institute, learning from other colleges and experts about the latest trends and innovations in higher education. Last night, New York Times columnist David Leonhardt's keynote address, entitled "The Great American Stagnation," opened the institute with a gloomy assessment of the political and economic scene in the United States. Leonhardt blamed globalization, technology, and the decline of social bonds as the causes for an economic situation that has left many American families with stagnant incomes in recent decades. Happily, he also suggested that higher education was a key part of the solution, especially at places like Mills, which provide much-needed social mobility for students and their families. This is evidenced in a January, 2017 New York Times article, which showed that Mills had one of the strongest mobility rates among Bay Area colleges, meaning the rate at which students from low-income families end up in a higher income bracket.

At the end of last year, Mills and the world lost one of the women who best exemplifies the kind of social mobility that a transformative education can inspire. March Fong Eu ’47 had an exemplary career, serving as California’s Secretary of State, the first Asian American woman in the United States to be elected to a constitutional office. She was named US Ambassador to Micronesia, appointed by President Bill Clinton, and was a political force throughout her career improving voter registration, encouraging trade, addressing school reform, and dedicating her public life to promoting cultural understanding. The College is very grateful for her support and her generous philanthropy to Mills.

With faith that the new year will bring countless opportunities to make the kind of difference that March Fong Eu would have wanted us to.


Beth Signature



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