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Mills College Breaks Barriers with Groundbreaking and Announces Name for Graduate School of Business
Oakland, CA—April 10, 2008. Mills College, one of the first women's colleges in the nation and the oldest women's college in the West, shattered a glass ceiling to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new building for its newly named Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business.
Above a roaring crowd, Mills MBA student Jackie Antig climbed a ‘corporate ladder' and smashed a 6-foot by 12-foot glass ceiling made from Hollywood-style breakaway glass, materializing the 20-year-old metaphor symbolic of the impediments to women's success.
"Women matter at Mills College. Women matter in our society. Not enough women are getting access to business education that would propel them to leadership roles in business," said Mills College President Janet L. Holmgren. "We are putting our resources to connect our values with what we believe in."
More than 300 people turned out for the standing-room-only "Breaking Barriers" event to celebrate the first women-focused MBA program in the West, and one of only two in the country. The program was created in 2001 to address the lack of access to business education for women, and the new building will allow the program to grow to more than 100 students.
"We're still in great need for a room of our own—a school of our own where we can simultaneously nurture and encourage women's leadership," said Ellen Goodman, Boston Globe columnist and program keynote speaker.
The Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business is named in honor of the founder of Business Wire and Mills College Trustee Lorry I. Lokey, who has long been a champion of women in the workplace. His daughter graduated from Mills in 1985. Lokey has contributed more than $30 million to Mills, including $20 million for the Business School.
Lokey said he prefers to spend his money on education rather than fancy dinners, vacations, or jet planes.
"This gift is an investment in the future because education and women's advancement are the future," Lokey said. "Mills gives women the opportunities they dream of, and empowers them to work on eliminating discrimination against women."
Women still comprise only two percent of CEOs in Fortune 500 companies. In California, 30 percent of 400 surveyed companies had no women executives or board members and only 13 of them had a female CEO. While enrollment at law and medical schools have nearly reached gender parity, enrollment at business schools nationwide are still predominantly male. The Lokey Graduate School of Business will continue to break barriers for women and prepare them as future business leaders.
Holmgren said "leaders come in all sizes and packages" and that "we need a space for women's voice and women's perspectives."
Nestled in the foothills of Oakland, California, Mills College is a nationally renowned, independent liberal arts college offering a dynamic progressive education that fosters leadership, social responsibility, and creativity to approximately 900 undergraduate women and 500 graduate women and men. Since 2000, applications to Mills College have more than doubled. The College ranks as one of the top colleges in the West by U.S. News & World Report and one of the Best 366 Colleges by the Princeton Review. For more information, visit http://www.mills.edu/.