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Oakland, CA - Numerous sources have reported that a Mills undergraduate student, Boitumelo "Tumi" McCallum, was found dead at her mother’s New York City apartment on Sunday, August 5, 2007. The details of her reported death have shocked the Mills community, and the College mourns the loss of a bright and talented young woman whose future has been tragically cut short. Originally from South Africa, Tumi had just completed her sophomore year at Mills and moved to New York for the summer before planning to return to school this fall.

Our hearts go out to Tumi’s friends, parents, and siblings. Her mother, esteemed NYU professor Teboho Moja, has served on international boards such as the UNESCO-Institute for International Education Planning and the World Education Market. She was appointed the Executive Director and Commissioner to the National Commission on Higher Education by President Nelson Mandela. Moja was a role model for Tumi and encouraged her interest in majoring in political, legal, and economic analysis at Mills. Tumi’s father, Robert McCallum, is an adjunct professor of art education at NYU.

“Tumi learned about Mills as a result of my acquaintance with her mother, in the context of the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women. It is an unspeakable tragedy that this lovely young woman appears to have met a violent end—a great loss to the world,” said Mills President Janet L. Holmgren.

While Tumi’s life has ended far too soon, members of the Mills community will continue to honor her memory in a special ceremony after the school year begins.

Mills College is a nationally renowned, independent liberal arts college offering innovative degree programs for undergraduate women, and graduate degree and certificate programs for women and men. Consistently recognized as one of the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Mills currently ranks among the top 20 most diverse liberal arts colleges.

Deborah Dallinger
Communications Consultant

Last Updated: 8/7/07