Mills College Inaugurates Elizabeth L. Hillman as 14th President, Celebrates Convocation

Oakland, CA—August 8, 2016

On Friday, September 23, 2016, the Board of Trustees of Mills College will inaugurate Elizabeth L. Hillman as 14th president of the oldest women’s college in the West.

Hillman, who began her tenure July 1, brings extensive higher education experience in both teaching and institutional leadership to Mills. She shares with the Mills community a deep understanding of the challenges and limited opportunities women face when seeking positions in the top ranks of historically underrepresented fields.  

“I was drawn to Mills because of its commitment to women’s education and its legacy of empowering women, embracing difference, and promoting creativity,” Hillman said. “Mills is a special place, and I am determined to successfully build on our 164-year legacy of diversity and intellectual engagement.”

Prior to joining Mills, Hillman served as provost and academic dean and professor of law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. She also served as professor and director of faculty development at Rutgers University School of Law and has taught at Yale University and the US Air Force Academy.

Hillman holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Duke University, a master’s degree in history from the University of Pennsylvania, a law degree from Yale Law School, and a doctorate in history with a focus on women’s history from Yale University.

Newly elected Mills College Board of Trustees Chair Katie Sanborn ’83 is looking forward to a new chapter in Mills’ storied history.

“I am extremely honored and excited to work with President Hillman and the entire Mills community to support the resurgence in women’s education,” Sanborn said. “The world needs a place like Mills that empowers women to make their mark in every possible way and place.”

Hillman’s installation will be combined with a convocation ceremony to celebrate the beginning of the new academic year, honor the academic achievement of students and faculty, salute the graduating class, and recognize Mills alumnae who have returned to campus for Reunion.

Princeton University Professor of African American Studies, Imani Perry will deliver the keynote convocation address. She is author of More Beautiful and More Terrible: The Embrace and Transcendence of Racial Inequality in the United States and Prophets of the Hood: Politics and Poetics in Hip Hop. In addition, she has authored numerous articles in the fields of law, cultural studies, and African American studies. She has two forthcoming books. One explores the history of the black national anthem, and the second looks at gender, neoliberalism, and the digital age.

At Princeton, Perry teaches Race and the American Legal Process; Law, Social Policy, and African American Women; and Masters of the 20th Century: Lorraine Hansberry. Perry also is affiliated with Princeton’s Program in Law and Public Affairs and the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies.

The Hillman inauguration and convocation ceremony will take place on Holmgren Meadow at Mills College from 9:45 am to noon, followed by a community lunch from noon to 1:30 pm.

For more information on the day’s events click here.

About Mills College
  Located in Oakland, California, in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area, Mills College is a nationally renowned independent liberal arts college for women with graduate programs for women and men. Ranked one of the top-tier regional universities in the West by U.S. News & World Report, Mills is also recognized as one of The Best 380 Colleges in the nation by The Princeton Review. Since 1852, we’ve been empowering students to become creative, independent thinkers who take and inspire action. For more information, visit