Inaugural Address

I may be a newcomer, but it’s impossible to step foot on campus without realizing that this is a very special place . . . 

. . . a place from which a graduate can become a choreographer . . . a CEO . . . a member of Congress . . . or even a public address announcer for Major League Baseball!

. . . a place where a chemistry student can find a love of art, an art student can find beauty in the sciences, and all students are encouraged to reach beyond their comfort zones and expand their horizons.

. . . a place that deeply values, as one of my colleagues so eloquently put it, the 'culture of the raised hand.'

I can think of no greater privilege than to lend what energies and talents I may have to honoring this tradition of excellence. 

Now, as always, this tradition defines us—but it must not confine us. In the words of Harriet Beecher Stowe, 'The past, the present, and the future are really one: they are today.'

So—what is Mills College today?

First and foremost, Mills is a place of academic excellence. This bears repeating. There is nothing more important to the future of Mills than ensuring that the students who choose to study here receive the highest-quality education that we can possibly provide. 

The terms 'tradition' and 'innovation' are not often paired, but here at Mills, our community values, balances, and insists upon both. We see this across all academic divisions:

—In the fine arts, our renowned faculty has created a haven for experimentalism across artistic genres.

 —In the natural sciences, housed in our first LEED-certified green building, our graduates have gone on to revolutionize their fields. 

—In letters, our nationally recognized poets, authors, and scholars inspire students to create the most contemporary of works.  

—In the social sciences, we explore human behavior across time, cultures, and nations and ask tough questions about history, justice, and equality. 

—And in our Schools of Education and Business, we prepare thoughtful, ethical leaders who are committed to making a positive social impact.

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