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Mills establishes Center for Socially Responsible Business

Oakland, CA–Sept. 8, 2008. Following its long tradition of experimentation, leadership, social responsibility, and creativity, Mills College is proud to announce the establishment of the Center for Socially Responsible Business at the Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business.

Operating on the maxim: businesses can flourish financially while doing good socially, the center examines how businesses can improve social conditions in practical ways that do not harm and may even help their bottom lines.

Created in part by a three-year grant from the Elfenworks Foundation, the center will advance the study and practice of socially responsible business, promote its values, foster social responsibility in graduate business education, and build alliances with like-minded Bay Area companies, nonprofits, academic institutions, and government agencies.

"Mills College is committed to advancing women in all aspects of society and a graduate business education is one of the most instrumental tools towards success," said Mills College President Janet L. Holmgren. "We thank the Elfenworks Foundation for further strengthening the spirit of social responsibility and the value of giving back to one's community found in every Mills College graduate."

Phillip Gordon, who has taught at the Lokey Graduate School of Business, UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business, and the Norwegian School of Management, will be the center's executive director. Gordon will spearhead programs such as the center's free public lecture series, an annual conference, and an executive workshop. Visit www.mills.edu/mba/csrb for more information.

Bonnie Nixon Gardiner, director of ethical sourcing at Hewlett Packard, will be the first speaker in the public lecture series.

Her talk "From Green to Gold—Hewlett Packard's Social and Environmental Sustainability Program," will be held in Danforth Lecture Hall on September 11, 2008 at 7:30 pm. All members of the public are invited to attend the series which is designed to provide a platform for visionaries and leaders in the field to inspire and educate the public about socially responsible business.

The following lecture is scheduled for October 23 with Ben Heineman, author of High Performance with High Integrity, and former general counsel for General Electric.

The center will also sponsor a spring annual conference that will bring together scholars, practitioners, policy makers, and students to share the latest developments in socially responsible business, and a summer executive workshop for mid-career professionals and industry leaders. Attendees of the workshop would receive opportunities to "retrofit" their business experience with new perspectives on the social implications and potential of business leadership, said Nancy Thornborrow, dean of the Lokey Graduate School of Business.

"They'll also provide essential intergenerational networking opportunities for our MBA graduates and other mid-career Mills alumnae," she said.

The Lokey Graduate School of Business began as a program with seven students in 2001 and expects to grow to more than 100 students who will be housed in a state-of the-art environmentally friendly facility slated for a fall 2009 opening. The Mills MBA program is the first in the West created specifically for women.

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 950 undergraduate women and 500 graduate women and men. Since 2000, applications to Mills College have more than doubled. The College is named one of the top colleges in the West by U.S. News & World Report, one of the Best 368 Colleges by the Princeton Review, and ranks 75th among America's best colleges by Forbes.com. Visit us at www.mills.edu.

Quynh Tran
Media Relations Manager

Last Updated: 8/18/08