Historic photos of the Mills College campus and Mills Hall

Mills College Milestones

1852: The Young Ladies’ Seminary, the predecessor to Mills College, opens in Benicia, California.

1871: Cyrus and Susan Mills purchase and move the Seminary to the Oakland foothills.

1885: Mills is chartered as the first women's college west of the Rockies.

1920: Mills opens a Graduate Division, offering programs to both women and men.

1926: The Mills College Children's School opens as the first laboratory school for aspiring teachers west of the Mississippi.

1941: Mills becomes one of the first liberal arts colleges to grant a degree in modern dance.

1969: Mills becomes the first independent college to offer an ethnic studies program.

1974: Mills becomes the first women's college to offer a computer science major.

1990: Trustees reaffirm commitment to educating women following a campus-wide strike.

2012: Mills becomes a majority-minority college with 50%+ undergraduate students of color.

2014: Mills launches the first transgender admission policy in the country at a women’s college.

2016: Mills becomes test optional, removing a barrier to college access.

2017: Mills establishes a formal collaboration with the University of California, Berkeley. Mills achieves status as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI).

2018:Mills reduces undergraduate tuition by 36% to provide access and opportunity to a diverse population of students.

2019:Mills Performing Arts launches to showcase to foster deeper ties with the Bay Area community and champion a dynamic, boundary-breaking performing arts scene.

2020: Mills Board of Trustees ratifies its commitment to making Mills an antiracist institution, and Mills debuts a public art initiative in honor of the Black Lives Matter Movement.