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Mills: Inside and Out
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Office of the President

Mills: Inside and Out

Mills College
Presidential Communication
October 13, 2017

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

Dear all,

I write at the end of a harrowing week, with the North Bay fires bringing the increasing intensity of climate-change disasters to our campus and community. With so many around the world struggling to recover from climate events, we now have a relief and recovery effort at our doorstep. Mills students, faculty, staff, alums, and trustees have been directly affected, some losing homes, others comforting friends and family. More than thirty Mills students and more than 400 alums have homes in affected areas.

Dr. Chicora Martin, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students, has led our campus response and communication efforts. Aware that the smoke might increase, their office has ordered particulate respirators that we will make available when they arrive next week for those who want them. We will also continue to monitor the situation and adjust scheduled events and activities as needed.

Meanwhile, Mills faculty and staff are collecting and distributing emergency supplies, housing displaced friends and family, and supporting those directly affected in a myriad of other ways. Our cross-country team is leading an effort to collect supplies through the Mills re-use center and Dr. Priya Kandaswamy took a truckload of supplies to shelters in the area. Next Thursday, October 19, we'll host an American Red Cross blood drive on campus. We are also reaching out to see if Mills can support temporary housing needs.

Amidst all, our work on and off campus continues, evident in the Mills Teacher Scholar gathering held yesterday evening. An annual event, it brings current Mills Teacher Scholars, alumni, and friends together to share ideas and experiences. Dozens of teachers from five different districts had an opportunity to revisit the values taught through this innovative program. Many thanks to Executive Director Carrie Wilson and her team in the School of Education for building this bridge between the academy and community.

On a personal note, this is the first time since I moved to California a decade ago that I've felt the direct impact of the fire season. Reading about the Oakland fire of 1991, and following the heroism and desperation that accompanied countless fires since, is not the same as waking up in the middle of the night to tree limbs hitting the roof and smoke wafting in. I'm grateful for the fortitude and generosity of the Mills community in helping each of us endure and respond.

Beth Signature



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Last Updated: 10/20/17