four students holding Mills flags

Convocation Ceremony

Friday, September 20, 2019
Littlefield Concert Hall
10:15 am–11:30 am

Convocation marks the formal beginning of the new academic year. The Mills community convenes to celebrate the graduating class, honor the academic achievements of students and faculty who are receiving special awards, and recognize Mills alumnae who have returned to campus for Reunion.

The Convocation pre-celebration begins with graduating seniors and faculty donning academic regalia and gathering for a breakfast reception before proceeding to Littlefield Concert Hall.

First-year students, sophomores, and juniors join their respective classes wearing their class color. Each class is assigned one of four colors based on the year of graduation:

  • the Class of 2020 is purple
  • the Class of 2021 is red
  • the Class of 2022 is green
  • the Class of 2023 is blue

The outgoing class shares its color with the incoming class, so the tradition continues every year.

The Convocation ceremony will begin promptly at 10:15 am in the Littlefield Concert Hall. Classes normally held at 9:00, 10:00 and 11:00 am are cancelled for the event.

2019 Convocation Speaker:

Crystal Jones Lucky

Crystal Jones Lucky Crystal Jones Lucky is associate dean of baccalaureate studies for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and associate professor of English at Villanova University. Since 1996, she has taught courses in 19th- and 20th-century African American literature, including slave and spiritual narratives, the Harlem Renaissance, the African American short story, and the work of novelist Toni Morrison and playwright August Wilson. She also served as the director of the university’s Africana Studies Program from 2005–2015. Along with her husband, Timmy, she also pastors Sword of the Spirit Church in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania.

She has published articles on African American women writers of the 19th and 20th centuries and most recently published a critical edition of the autobiography of the Rev. Charlotte Riley, a 19th-century black preaching woman born into South Carolina slavery, A Mysterious Life and Calling: From Slavery to Ministry in South Carolina (University of Wisconsin Press, 2016). Her current work-in-progress, Relentless Hearts: A Journey of Time, Love and Perseverance, tells the story of Michael and Debbie Africa, (with their son, Michael, Jr.), the first two members of the MOVE 9 who were released from prison after a 40-year sentence for the murder of a Philadelphia police officer in 1978.

Crystal holds a PhD in English from the University of Pennsylvania (1999), an MA in African American Studies from Yale University (1989), and a BA in English and Communications from the University of Pennsylvania (1985).