Welcome to the Mills College Club of New York!!
Since the March 17 announcement that Mills College will no longer be a degree-granting institution and since the April 24 AAMC Town Hall, the coalition of the AAMC and Save Mills group has been organizing to force the Board of Trustees and President Hillman to postpone any further actions for a year.
Sign up for the next AAMC town hall: 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. EDT on Saturday, May 15. At this meeting, immediately following the College’s online Commencement, the Board of Governors will announce the names of the AAMC governors and alumna trustee who will join the association’s governing body on July 1; share the AAMC’s annual financial report; provide a recap and update on efforts to save Mills; and take questions from alumnae. Register here to receive your Zoom link for the meeting.
If you have not received the email from the AAMC, please read it here:
The efforts of alumnae, students, faculty, and staff to keep Mills College’s doors open to degree-seeking students continue to gain momentum. The latest rebuke of the administration’s decision to close the College and direct its endowment to a nebulous “Mills Institute” has come from faculty, in the form of a no-confidence vote (click to read the full text of the press release and resolution). The AAMC Board of Governors issues this statement regarding the vote:
On May 3, Mills College faculty overwhelmingly passed a resolution of no confidence in the College's leadership. The AAMC Board of Governors commends the faculty for their unrelenting focus on the mission of the College and the education and well-being of their students. We stand with the faculty as they emphasize the importance of shared governance and innovation in creating a sustainable future for the College and point out how failure to live up to these values has contributed to the College's problems. It is our profound expectation that the College Board of Trustees will provide alumnae, students, staff and faculty with a year-long period in which to work together with the board in finding a path to continue the Mills mission as a degree-granting college or university.
A few days earlier, the Save Mills College Coalition urged the California attorney general to halt and investigate the Board of Trustees’ actions to close the College. Read the Coalition’s press release, which maintains that the Board of Trustees took an unlawful departure from the charitable purposes of the College.
Meanwhile, the AAMC is pursuing a range of activities—including other legal options—to halt the dismantling of Mills. Visit the AAMC website to learn more about the College’s surprise announcement on March 17 that it would soon stop admitting students—and all that’s happened since. We need your help to put a stop to this transition!
Sign up for the next AAMC town hall: 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm PDT on Saturday, May 15. At this meeting, immediately following the College’s online Commencement, the Board of Governors will announce the names of the AAMC governors and alumna trustee who will join the association’s governing body on July 1; share the AAMC’s annual financial report; provide a recap and update on efforts to save Mills; and take questions from alumnae. Register here to receive your Zoom link for the meeting.
Review the April 24 AAMC town hall. This event featured presentations from the Save Mills College Coalition, the UC Mills Campaign (which seeks to save Mills by making it a stand-alone campus within the University of California system), and the AAMC Board of Governors on their organizing efforts and strategies. Access the video recording, transcripts, and presentations here.
Take action: write letters to save Mills. College leaders have shared little information about plans for replacing Mills College with a Mills Institute. But their negotiations with UC Berkeley are continuing, which could result in Mills being absorbed into UC Berkeley as just another of the university’s many institutes. The AAMC Board of Governors urges you to write to Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ (firstname.lastname@example.org) and UC President Michael V. Drake (email@example.com) and express your objections to the idea of a Mills Institute within UC Berkeley—and your desire to see Mills continue to foster women’s leadership, gender and racial equity, and critical thinking in the way it does it best: as a degree-granting college or university.
In addition, please write to Mills' trustees—if you haven’t already—to explain why the College is important to you and why it must be saved. Email addresses for trustees and other leaders are listed on the UC Mills Campaign and Save Mills College Coalition websites.
Make a pledge to support Mills if it remains a degree-granting entity. To date, the AAMC has received $1.2 million in pledges from alumnae and others who are committed to keeping Mills a college or university. By comparison, five years ago, Sweet Briar College alumnae raised $13 million to successfully save their college when it was slated to close. We have a long way to go! Please show trustees how much alumnae are willing to give to save Mills by downloading a pledge form and sending it in today. Please also consider making a current gift to support the AAMC.
Thank you for all your pledges, gifts, and messages of support! Together, I believe we can find a path forward so future Mills students can experience a life-changing education, just as we did—an education that recognizes the needs of students today and prepares them not only to succeed in the world to come, but to shape it.
Board of Governors
Alumnae Association of Mills College
The AAMC Board of Governor
This message was sent to you by Mills College, 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA, 94613
Prior MCCNY Post:
As most of you know, President Beth Hillman made an announcement on March 17, 2021 that “While Mills’ role as a degree-granting college will end, its mission will endure. Mills intends to continue to foster women’s leadership and student success, advance gender and racial equity, and cultivate innovative pedagogy, research, and critical thinking by creating a Mills Institute housed here on campus”. For us alumnae, this is sad and heart-breaking news but not unexpected. The college has been struggling for years and any hope of its survival was dashed by the pandemic.
The AAMC has sent an invitation for a March 24 town hall. "...we have many questions and concerns—as we know you do, too—about the proposed transition and the opportunity for alumnae to provide input on transition details. Our concerns range from the state of the negotiations with UC Berkeley to the transition paths for Mills students, faculty, and staff to ownership of Reinhardt Alumnae House. And, of course, this announcement has profound implications for the mission of the AAMC—which, as an independent organization, will continue to exist no matter what happens to Mills."
We hope you will join us for an in-depth discussion about the future of the AAMC and Mills during an online AAMC Town Hall on Wednesday, March 24, from 8 pm to 9:15 pm EST. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org if you did not receive this notification so that you can get the link.
Last month, the AAMC held a town hall to discuss its future because it is an independent and separate entity from the college. There is major change in the air and we hope that you will continue to read posts on FaceBook and let the college and the AAMC know if you have ideas and suggestions for both going forward.
In addition to the president’s message to us, there have been many articles in news outlets. Read for yourself what is known to date and be sure to sign up for the town hall with Beth Hillman on April 6. If you have not registered, write email@example.com.
Here are the links to the president’s announcement, news articles and other relevant sites:
KQED conducted a conversation with Pres. Hillman, a current senior and an alumna about the announcement that Mills College will no longer be a degree-granting institution. It was interesting to hear what each had to say and also raised a lot of questions.
Although we had to cancel all our 2020 activities, we are looking ahead to a safer environment in 2021 when we can once again gather in person and experience the special bond we alumnae have.
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The Mills College Club has been in existence since 1919 and we are proud to continue its mission to foster old and create new bonds among Mills College alumnae who live in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. We gather for fellowship with each other; raise money for the College (specifically for the Tri-State Scholarship Fund); help with the College's admissions efforts and publicize events related to Mills alumnae and faculty members.
Anyone living in Connecticut, New Jersey, or New York who attended Mills for a semester or more is included in the mailing list for the MCCNY.
Former MCCNY members who have moved away from this area are also welcome as members, as are faculty and staff of the College. These days, except for the mailed invitations to the fall fund-raising event, we keep in touch via e-mail—so it is important for us to know how to reach you this way. Board meetings are held periodically to plan our events; all are welcome at these meetings.
and Margot Mabie, Co-chairs