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Mills: Inside and Out

Mills College
Presidential Communication
January 11, 2019

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

Dear all,

Yesterday at a packed Rotary luncheon at City Hall, Mayor Libby Schaaf called out Mills for its support of the Oakland Promise. Mills was a founding member of the Oakland Promise, which aims to make college an expectation of all students in Oakland. This year, Mills dedicated additional scholarships and created a new leadership academy to support students from the Oakland Unified School District, which serves more than 50,000 students in 122 schools. Tonight, the mayor's inauguration gala at the historic Fox Theater will benefit the Oakland Promise. Trish and I will be there representing Mills.

The other Rotarians who joined me at yesterday's City Hall lunch were keen to learn more about growth in Oakland and to share their stories of Mills. I learned that this year's Oakland construction projects will exceed those of any prior year since the aftermath of the San Francisco earthquake in 1906 (!)—and that Mills' sixth president, Aurelia Henry Reinhardt, was the first, and for many years the only, woman to serve on the board of the East Bay Regional Parks in the 1930's.

While most of our students are not yet back on campus, many are working and some are studying near and far. Before the sun came up this morning, a group of eleven Mills students climbed into a van driven by VP and Dean Chicora Martin to head for the border as part of Professor Lisa Urry's class, The U.S./Mexico Border: An Immersive Experience. Joined by academic navigator Daisy Villa, they will spend ten days exploring the socio-political, cultural, and ecological issues that impact the borderlands along the U.S./Mexico border. Students will be based in Nogales, Arizona (U.S.) and Nogales, Sonora (Mexico). I can't imagine a more timely or important study away opportunity at a time when the politics of the border are dominating national discourse and are the source of a federal government shutdown. I hope you'll join me in supporting not only Mills students, but also all the federal workers who continue to labor despite the uncertainty of their pay.

All best,

Beth Signature



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