Oakland, CA—November 18, 2016
Dear Mills alumnae and friends,
The days following our national election have had a significant impact on the Mills campus. Over the past week, we have convened faculty symposia to assess the national political landscape and election results; convened community gatherings to share reflections, concerns, and aspirations; and recommitted ourselves to Mills' mission and to each other. In the weeks ahead, we will continue to reaffirm our values relative to emergent challenges in the national political landscape—most immediately regarding how Mills might join institutions across the country in supporting undocumented students on our respective campuses.
More than ever, I feel proud and fortunate to be at Mills, where I'm part of an institution and legacy that has continually excelled and endured, celebrated the capacity of women to lead, and embraced diversity and complexity. The world that brought us the presidential campaign needs a place like Mills. It needs an inclusive community committed to gender and racial justice, a crucible where innovators, artists, thinkers, scientists, and scholars find their voices and become agents of change. It needs a college where all of our students, regardless of color, faith, ability, gender identity, sexuality, nationality, or ethnicity, can learn and aspire and lead. They are our future.
On November 29, Mills holds its second annual day of giving: Millsgiving. It is one of many important occasions when we encourage our cherished community of alumnae and friends to reconnect with what is most resonant about Mills for them, and to consider making a gift in support of the values we share. That this event comes on the heels of a divisive national campaign and election—in which power, gender, and social justice emerged as explicit issues—gives it special poignancy.
As alumnae and friends, you are the bedrock of the Mills community—as vital to who we are as the students walking across campus this morning, or the faculty engaging them today in our classrooms, labs, and studios. Your legacy of inquiry, creativity, and achievement propel us as we recommit ourselves to the foundational principle of valuing the voice of education, the voice of women, and the many voices of women leaders in the world. Your dedication to this special place and its vital mission, and the focusing lens of recent events, make clear to us that women's education as a catalyst for gender and racial equity—indeed for social justice in its broadest sense—is more crucial than ever.
If the guiding principles of Mills' students, alumnae, and faculty resonate with you, or if the values of your Mills education is more top of mind than ever, consider today or Millsgiving as an opportunity to:
For generations, Mills has hewn to the fundamental proposition that women's education
is foundational to civic participation, economic innovation, and creative expression.
As you consider what Mills means to you, please join us in supporting that mission
today or on Millsgiving, November 29. Visit campus, make a gift, or give thanks for Mills, just as Mills gives thanks for you.
Elizabeth L. Hillman