Issuu on Google+

Mills Quarterly Spring 2004 Alumnae Magazine

The Roots of Experimentalism at Mills Brown v. Board of Education: 50 Years Later The Writing Center Biophotonics


“Assemblage” by Ralph DuCasse (American, 1916–2003). This work was recently acquired by the Mills Art Museum and is the gift of Elizabeth Elston, ’57, former director of the Art Museum. Professor Emeritus Ralph DuCasse died on December 12, 2003. His obituary appears on page 34. Photo by Stephan Jost.


10

17

16 PEG SKORPINSKI

PEG SKORPINSKI

BRUCE COOK

20 LBJ LIBRARY, PHOTO YOICHI OKAMOTO

Mills Quarterly

CONTENTS SPRING 2004 10

The Roots of American Experimentalism at Mills College, 1933–41 David W. Bernstein, PhD The gift of a unique collection of percussion instruments to Mills College inspired Professor David Bernstein to write about music for percussion instruments as it was performed at Mills in the early 20th century.

16

Grant Brings Cutting-edge Research to Mills Doreen Hinton, ’04 Assistant Professor of Biology Susan Spiller, with the help of students, is studying the exciting area of biophotonics. Her research recently earned her, and Mills, a grant from the National Science Foundation.

17

Getting Centered: The Writing Center Then and Now Joni Goddard, ’02, MA ’04 For the last 30 years, the Mills College Writing Center has helped students turn out wellwritten papers, laboratory reports, and even applications to graduate school.

20

Brown v. Board of Education: 50 Years Later Edna Mitchell, PhD Professor of Education Edna Mitchell tells the story of Esther Swirk Brown, a Kansas City housewife turned activist whose important roll in the landmark Supreme Court case is known to only a few.

D E PA R T M E N T S 3

Letters

4

Inside Mills

8

Mills Matters

9

Alumnae Action

23

Passages

26

Calendar

ABOUT THE COVER: Senior Hande Erdem walks in front of the Cowell Building with her violin. Hande, who is from Istanbul, Turkey, is a music major. Cover photo by Peg Skorpinski.


Mills Quarterly Volume XCII Number 4 (USPS 349-900) Spring 2004 Alumnae Director Anne Gillespie Brown, ’68 Editor David M. Brin, MA ’75 <dbrin@mills.edu> (510) 430-3312 Design and Art Direction Benjamin Piekut, MA ’01 Editorial Assistance Katrina Wardell, ’07 Quarterly Advisory Board Robyn Fisher, ’90, Marian Hirsch, ’75 Jane Cudlip King, ’42, Jane Redmond Mueller, ’68 Cathy Chew Smith, ’84, Ramona Lisa Smith, ’01, MBA, ’02 Sharon K. Tatai, ’80, Heidi Wachter, ’01 Lynette Williams Williamson, ’72, MA ’74 Class Notes Writers Barb Barry, ’94, Laura Compton, ’93 Barbara Bennion Friedlich, ’49, Sally Mayock Hartley, ’48 Heather Hanley, ’00, Marian Hirsch, ’75 Cathy Chew Smith, ’84 Special Thanks to Jane Cudlip King, ’42 David M. Hedden Board of Governors President Karen May, ’86 Vice Presidents Judy Greenwood Jones, ’60 Jane Cudlip King, ’42 Treasurer Bevo Zellick, ’49, MA ’50 Alumnae Trustees Leone La Duke Evans, MA ‘45 Sara Ellen McClure, ’81 Sharon K. Tatai, ’80 Governors Lynne Bantle, ’74, Micheline Beam, ‘72 Anita Aragon Bowers, ’63, Harriet Fong Chan, ‘98 Lynn Eve Fortin, ’87, Amy Franklin-Willis, ‘94 Mary Liu, ‘71, Leah Hardcastle Mac Neil, MA ’51 Rachael E. Meny, ‘92, Nangee Warner Morrison, ‘63 Ruth Saxton, MA ‘72, Ramona Lisa Smith, ‘01, MBA ‘02 Diana Birtwistle Odermatt, ’60 Sarah Washington-Robinson, ’72 Lynette Williams Williamson, ’72, MA ’74 Thomasina Woida, ’80 Sheryl Wooldridge, ‘77 Student Representatives: Cynthia Guevara, ‘04 Kathleen Stavis, ‘06 Regional Governors Joyce Menter Wallace, ’50, Eastern Great Lakes Joan Alper, ’62, Middle Atlantic Albertina Padilla, ’78, Middle California Adrienne Bronstein Becker, ’86, Middle California Judith Smrha, ’87, Midwest Linda Cohen Turner, ’68, North Central Brandy Tuzon Boyd, ’91, Northern California Gayle Rothrock, ’68, Northwest Louise Hurlbut, ’75, Rocky Mountains Colleen Almeida Smith, ’92, South Central Julia Almazan, ’92, Southern California Dr. Candace Brand Kaspers, ’70, Southeast Elaine Chew, ’68, Southwest The Mills Quarterly (USPS 349-900) is published quarterly in April, July, October, and January by the Alumnae Association of Mills College, Reinhardt Alumnae House, 5000 MacArthur Boulevard, Oakland, CA 94613. Periodicals postage paid at Oakland, CA and at additional mailing office(s). Postmaster: Send address changes to the Mills Quarterly, Alumnae Association of Mills College, P.O. Box 9998, Oakland, CA 94613-0998. Statement of Purpose The purpose of the Mills Quarterly is to report the activities of the Alumnae Association and its branches; to reflect the quality, dignity, and academic achievement of the College family; to communicate the exuberance and vitality of student life; and to demonstrate the worldwide-ranging interests, occupations, and achievements of alumnae.

On this Issue For as long as anyone can remember, Mills has been at the forefront in the arts, sciences, and education. This issue offers an interesting mix of articles that show off Mills’ leadership in a variety of fields, from music to biology to training teachers for urban schools. Professor David Bernstein’s article on the roots of American experimentalist music at Mills also celebrates the gift to the College of rare percussion instruments from the estate of esteemed composer Lou Harrison. The instruments were bequeathed to percussionist William Winant, MFA ’82, who is on the music faculty at Mills and is considered the foremost interpreter of Harrison’s percussion music. Mr. Winant gave the instruments to the College, and they are now housed in the Music Building in special storage units given by the Thendara Foundation. I particularly enjoyed the hour or so I spent in the Lou Harrison Room in the Music Building with Mr. Winant, photographer Peg Skorpinski, and the instruments. Willie, as he is called by nearly everyone, showed us the astonishing array of instruments, which came from near and far: Some were bought in San Francisco’s Chinatown, and some were brought back from Korea and Indonesia. The brake drums were salvaged from auto junkyards. That Harrison also made musical instruments out of clock coils and coffee cans shows that his ear was always listening for musical sounds, and the music for these instruments in pieces such as Harrison’s Violin Concerto and his Canticle #3 delight the listener. Dr. Bernstein’s article elaborates on the long history of musical experimentalism at Mills, which stretches back at least to the 1930s, when the remarkable musical personalities John Cage, Henry Cowell, and Lou Harrison were at the College. Their interaction and the excitement and creativity that resulted are testimony to the special atmosphere at Mills. A similar excitement of collaboration and creativity is occurring in the biology department as Susan Spiller and her students conduct research in biophotonics. This relatively new area in biology may have implications in medicine, genetics, agriculture, and environmental science. Doreen Hinton writes about Dr. Spiller’s research and her student research associates on page 16. Mills’ education department has been at the forefront of training teachers for service in urban schools for many years. Professor Edna Mitchell looks back 50 years to the momentous decision by the Supreme Court to end segregated education in this country. In so doing she tells the moving and little-known story of Esther Swirk Brown, whose efforts to integrate the schools in suburban Kansas City were the beginnings of what became the famous Brown v. Board of Education case. Dr. Mitchell also evaluates our present situation, looks to the future, and discusses the commitment of the Mills education department to the ideals of justice and equity. An article about the Writing Center, which has been helping students improve their writing for almost 30 years, rounds out the feature section of the issue. I hope this issue will give you a feel for some of the areas in which Mills continues its tradition of remaining on the cutting-edge of research and experimentalism in the sciences and humanities.


Letters to the Editor Julia Morgan at Mills Around 1970, while preparing the exhibit “Maybeck and Morgan at Mills,” I was startled to find a letter from Susan Mills in which she said that at the dedication of the Campanil Julia Morgan should be honored only if the builder, Bernard Ransome, were equally honored. I’m afraid I allowed some of my feminist bristling into the typewritten “catalogue” before I had the chance to take Morgan’s blueprints into the tower. There I discovered that Susan Mills was correct. Morgan had designed walls so thick that Ransome was concerned the concrete would not set properly. He built thin double walls, using his patented improved version of reinforced concrete with twisted iron rods embedded in it. (The lack of such twisting contributed to the failure of the Cypress Overpass in the 1989 quake; the concrete pulled away from the straight rebars.) Morgan, of course, would have collaborated in this change of design. I did not find the revised blueprints, however. One other thing struck me. The interior was textured using a singletoothed chisel, a labor of love that must have taken hours of time for no known purpose. Ransome was always concerned to work exterior concrete to disguise the pattern of the formwork, but this interior detailing is astounding. My notes on all of this went up with my house in the firestorm of 1991, so I am depending upon memory. Morgan’s contributions to Mills suggest that her romantic spirit rebelled against her Ecole des Beaux-Arts training. The Campanil is not on axis with the center of Mills Hall, and her Carnegie Library is not at right angles to either of those buildings. She aligned the Student Union and Gymnasium with Leona Creek rather than with Mills Hall, so that the whole plan is relaxed and sensitive to the topography. When Bernard Maybeck, Morgan’s mentor, was asked

by Phoebe Apperson Hearst to draw up a master plan for the campus, he eliminated all of Morgan’s buildings in order to achieve a more orthodox axiality. Although elements of his plan, in particular the zones for the performing arts and for the sciences, were adopted by Walter Ratcliff, Jr., that architect and the trustees fortunately saw no reason to destroy Morgan’s work. Georgia Wright, PhD From page 12 of the Winter 2004 Mills Quarterly, I learned of the planned Julia Morgan School for Girls, to open in September, 2004, in Alderwood Hall. Its picture caught my eye. It will be exactly 60 years since I first arrived, in September, 1944, as a young graduate student, assigned to live in that same hall, known then as Graduate House. Yes, we heard that it had been an orphanage for Chinese children, but I don’t recall ever hearing about Julia Morgan, the architect. Thank you for filling in the history of my Mills home, and for recognizing Julia Morgan, a trailblazing female architect. The House was indeed a comfortable, attractive building, conveniently located near Richards Gate, with bus stops to downtown Oakland and to the City. We were near PAL’S hamburger shack, as well as close to the Music Building, and all of the campus. Graduate students and fellows, faculty members, librarians, and office personnel happily filled Graduate House while I was there, from 1944 to ’46. Perhaps sometime a student will write more about the history of Alderwood Hall. Helen Haigh Mills, MA ’46 Tribute to German at Mills Fred Keibel was not mentioned in the article “A Tribute to German at Mills” in the Winter 2004 Quarterly. He was another member of the European immigrant community, who added an urbane international flavor to the

atmosphere at Mills, as well as being a delightful human being. Yvonne Steele Byron, ’50 My academic life was ennobled and my competency in German language and literature was improved because of my studies with Fred Keibel in the mid-’60s at Mills. I salute him as another remarkable contributor to the German program at Mills. Gayle Rothrock, ’68 Esther Landa’s Recollections of Life at Mills: 1929–1933 The Quarterly is beautiful! Esther Landa’s account of life at Mills was very interesting. She was a sophomore when I was a freshman. We fought each other in the Push Ball Contest on the Oval. The sophomores hid the freshman caps. We of ’34 could not find ours. It turned out that they were hidden inside the bottom step of the flight of steps in Mills Hall, as I remember. At one time during our search one of the sophomores rode her horse around the Oval in the evening with something under her arm, purported to be our caps. (A student could bring her own horse to Mills. The stables had other horses, too, where we took riding lessons under the stern guidance of Cornelia Van Ness Cress, whose father was a general in the army cavalry—stationed in San Francisco, I believe). Esther should have known that Steffy didn’t allow any freshman to try out for the Shakespeare play. She needed to know her actors, and since the Shakespeare play was given in October, there wasn’t a chance to see them act in a lesser production. The freshman performed in the Christmas Miracle Play. Esther and Ruth might have been great actresses and still have been skipped for the first Shakespeare performance. We all were. Elizabeth “Lid” Bryant Miles, ’34 M I L L S Q U A R T E R LY S P R I N G 2 0 0 4

3


inside mills MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

4

M I L L S Q U A R T E R LY S P R I N G 2 0 0 4

JENNIFER SAUER

This academic year we launched a new strategic plan—Expanding Avenues to Leadership—at Mills College. I would like to provide some context in which the College adopted this strategic plan, which now guides our work to enhance Mills’ leadership position in women’s education. Throughout the United States, all traditional liberal arts colleges are facing serious challenges. Students entering college today question the relevance of a liberal education and too often focus on programs that only offer professional career training. Just four percent of college and university students attend liberal arts colleges. Even many of these students do not fully appreciate how the broad learning and personal development that come with a liberal arts degree advance their professional aspirations. Mills is not immune to these challenges, and we have chosen to address them by creating innovative academic programs that integrate a liberal arts degree with professional training. At Mills students are able to earn a BA and MA in interdisciplinary computer science in five years or a BA in economics and an MBA in the same amount of time. These programs, which combine a strong liberal arts core with specific professional preparation, are placing Mills graduates in fields in which women currently are underrepresented. Student interest in these combined degree programs is high; for example, enrollment in the MBA program has doubled over a two-year period from 12 to 25, and we hope and expect this number will grow over time to 75 students or more. Stable enrollment is essential to the long-term intellectual vitality and fiscal health of the College. To meet this challenge, the Mills student body must be increased. Thus the new strategic plan contains goals for growth at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Our goals for enrollment growth also include a continuing commitment to provide access for all qualified students at Mills, where more than 50 percent of undergraduate and 75 percent of graduate students have annual family incomes of less than $50,000. Finally, our goals for growth are consistent with an ethic of teaching and learning that is based on close interactions with faculty inside and outside the classroom. I want to say unequivocally that expansion of graduate programs advances our overall mission and does not represent an attempt to increase the percentage of men on campus. Enrollment numbers show that during the period from 1985 to the present when graduate enrollment doubled, the proportion of men in graduate programs remained at less than 25 percent. The focus in planning for graduate education at Mills is and always has been the creation of graduate programs designed to meet the changing needs of women. We are in the final year of the Mills Sesquicentennial Campaign, and the core elements of our strategic plan must be integrated with our long-term fundraising goals. I want to thank all alums for your generous giving. With your dedication, we are collectively charting the future for this wonderful institution. As you learn more about our plans and successes, I am confident you will continue to support our efforts to sustain a vibrant learning community at Mills College. At press time, we have $13,500,000 left to raise toward meeting our ambitious goal of $100,000,000. The campus is energized by the work of alumnae, trustees, and friends of the College who are volunteering tirelessly and confidently, along with staff and faculty, to conclude the campaign successfully by December 31, 2004. It is the same Mills energy that has advanced women in our society, through education, for more than 150 years.


S E S Q U I C E N T E N N I A L C A M PA I G N N E W S

STRATEGIC PLAN ADDRESSES TOUGH CHALLENGES by April Ninomiya Hopkins, MFA ’03

Mills has been identified as a liberal arts college for women since the first BA was conferred in 1889. In 2004, however, the number of women interested in single-sex institutions is declining, as is the number of students educated at liberal arts colleges. As President Holmgren states in her message on page 4, the design of the new strategic plan is to attract women and preserve the liberal arts at Mills.

Graduate Programs and the Liberal Arts “The tradition of liberal arts in education is to evolve. The oldest concept of a liberal arts education is to liberalize the mind and train it to respond to a variety of experiences with reason. I think we are doing that in a time when women have different needs and opportunities than they once had,” Cheit says. He calls attention to the new undergraduate programs Mills has added to its curriculum: degrees in environmental science and public policy in response to the high degree of social responsibility and activism among Mills students. The inter-media arts program was created in recognition of the influences technology has in providing new opportunities for students in the arts, and reinforces the interdisciplinary approach of the liberal arts. Workman, who also serves as associate dean for academic development and planning, a position funded by a Mellon Foundation grant, adds, “The

PHILLIP CHANNING

graduate programs with a fifth year at What Do Women Want? the graduate level, resulting in a masAttracting women in large numbers to ter’s degree. The MBA program is single-sex institutions is a continuing designed on this model. A series of challenge all over the country, says undergraduate economics courses Lifetime Trustee Earl Cheit, who allows students in almost any major to served on the ad-hoc Strategic complete the MBA degree with a fifth Planning Committee of the Board of year of graduate work. Trustees. “The new graduate programs are attracting far more women than men, and they reveal that we are meeting the evolving needs of women. For example, the demand among women is stunning for our first doctoral program, the EdD in Educational Leadership. And why is that? Because women now have leadership opportunities in the field of education, and Mills can help bring some very good people into leadership positions in the schools. That is exactly what we are trying to do in meeting the needs of women.” Andy Workman and Ebony Lubarsky, ’04. According to Associate Professor of History Andrew Workman, a large Trustee Alex Orgel Moses, ’64, conmajority of college students, including curs with Workman and Cheit. “Women women, plan to get a master’s degree, want an education beyond the bachePhD, or other advanced degree, and lor’s degree; they want a professional Mills has to figure that into its planning. degree. When you get a graduate edu“The faculty is considering launching cation that is recognized in the outside four-plus-one programs in fields such as world, on top of your liberal arts educapublic policy that provide a solid liberal tion, you get to go further. You get arts foundation but also give students more chances to do things.” the professional training they seek,” he Moses also served on the ad-hoc says. Strategic Planning Committee of the Four-plus-one programs are under-

board. “The part of the planning process that really came alive to me was when I thought about what Mills gave its students of my generation, generations before and since, and I hope for generations to come, and that is the sense that we as women could go out into the world with a sense of confidence and power. “What is most important about Mills is its ability to empower women; I try to look at every issue, analyze and feel everything in the spirit of ‘what will empower women?’ The strategic plan addresses that in some new and profound ways.”

M I L L S Q U A R T E R LY S P R I N G 2 0 0 4

5


inside mills

Are New Graduate Programs, Like the MBA, a Divergence from Liberal Arts Education? Cheit, who is the E.F. Kaiser Professor Emeritus of Business and Public Policy at the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley, says that offering the MBA is an extension of, and consistent with, the Mills tradition. “It is a modern application of an important point of view that’s been around Mills since Aurelia

6

M I L L S Q U A R T E R LY S P R I N G 2 0 0 4

Some students on campus have voiced their concern about the potential growth in the number of graduate students and men in the classroom, to which Workman responds: “We have learned quite a bit in the last few years. The post-baccalaureate science classes used to be mixed; now it’s more common to have separate undergraduate and graduate sections. But occasionally there may be advanced classes with graduate students.” Cheit is confident that men won’t dominate or change the undergraduate classroom experience. “Men first enrolled at Mills in the 1920s. The numbers have fluctuated between 15 to 25 percent of graduate programs and we have 80 years of experience to say it isn’t likely to happen.” Developing new graduate programs using the fourplus-one model provides a direct pipeline for Mills women to graduate school. The goal is to increase the likelihood that the population of graduate students at Mills will have a strong representation of women. Lifetime Trustee Earl Cheit Moses, who went on to earn a master’s degree in English as well as a law degree after the intellectual vitality they bring to the Mills, says, “The goal of the strategic campus. They can bring new resources, plan is to empower women. To do this, speakers, conferences, and new intellecthe College has to acknowledge tual perspectives to the College. women’s vocational needs.” He warns, though, that there are Recognizing women’s needs for profesdangers too. “We must be careful not sional training also makes a liberal arts to shortchange undergraduate proeducation, and Mills in particular, more grams and to make sure that our graduattractive to women in the market ate programs have the proper funding place. and staff. Overall, though, a properly conceived and executed program provides new resources and attracts more April Ninomiya Hopkins, MFA ’03, is students, both graduate and undergraddirector of advancement systems and uate, to the College.” services at Mills. Henry Reinhardt’s time. In the 1920s she said, ‘women spend 80 percent of the money but are only eight percent of the workforce. They have a responsibility in the larger society, and the College should meet their need to understand social economics.’ “It is not a new problem,” Cheit says. “It is the challenge of people in higher education to work on the tension between useful and liberal in a changing context, and I think we are doing that.” Workman reports that the positive value of having graduate programs is

APRIL HOPKINS, MFA ’03

core value of the liberal arts is to teach students how to understand, appreciate, and participate in the range of human thought and creativity. We at Mills are committed to providing an education that grounds students in the learning of the past while preparing them to engage a changing world. We believe that our graduate programs provide an essential next step for students trained in the liberal arts.” A liberal arts education has influenced and prepared generations of Mills women to pursue graduate education. Moses says of her personal experience, “Empowerment comes from many sources. Having many sources of encouragement is very powerful. Challenging faculty, eager student body, smaller classes, a woman’s college—I am enormously grateful. I never would have thought of going on to graduate school if a number of professors hadn’t suggested it. It took great courage for me to go to law school. My family was very, very opposed to it. I had to really believe in myself to do it. It makes a difference for another group of people to say—‘yes, you can do that, it’s fine for a woman to use her mind.’ It empowers you.”


CAMPAIGN GIFTS SUPPORT STRATEGIC PLAN

A

focal point of the strategic plan is the development of new academic programs that will enable Mills to offer evolving and exciting educational opportunities to women. Due in large part to the generosity of alumnae, trustees, and friends, new majors in environmental science and public policy as well as the four-plus-one MBA program have been successfully launched. Leadership gifts from Alex Orgel Moses, ’64, provided the initial funding for the public policy program. Subsequent major gifts have come from Jennifer Marx Gruenberg, ’64, and the Virginia and Leonard Marx Foundation; Marlene Hess, ’70, and the Hess Foundation; Ann Sulzberger Wolff, ’42; and Beth Larson O’Donohoe, ’46. The Mills Public Policy Program has enrolled 20 students as of the spring 2004 semester, and five have already graduated. Two of the graduates work as public policy analysts, two are apply-

ing to law school, and the fifth plans to apply to graduate school after working for a year at the U.S. Department of Energy. The new MBA program began with substantial support from Mills Trustee Barbara Ahmajan Wolfe, ’65 and her husband, Tom, who endowed the Wolfe MBA Fellowships. Eleven Wolfe fellows have received financial aid awards thus far. Twenty students have graduated from the MBA program; 16 of the 20 were enrolled as undergraduates at Mills. Twelve students from Mills and 11 from other institutions are current students. Additional major gifts from trustee Glenn Voyles and Lauren Speeth, ’81, were critical to launching the program. Speeth endowed a lectureship in ethics, leadership, and entrepreneurship, which is a core course in the MBA program. Speeth has also endowed a music lesson scholarship, named for master

violinist Aaron Rosand, and most recently, she created an endowment to re-establish the Mills Performing Group. The original Mills Performing Group was comprised of visiting performers who worked with Mills students and faculty to produce concerts together, in the 1960s and ’70s. Speeth is also underwriting a residency at Mills for Quartet San Francisco for the next academic year. Securing gifts and pledges to finance Mills’ implementation of the strategic plan is the focus of this last year of the Sesquicentennial Campaign. The College continues to seek funding for these and other new undergraduate majors and graduate programs. To find out more about these and other funding priorities, log on to <www.mills. edu/OIA> or contact Adam Blum in the Office of Institutional Advancement at (510) 430-2364 or at <adam@mills.edu>.

“When I left Mills, I had a lot of friends, a lot of facts in my head and ways of looking at and thinking about things. I also had confidence and a sense of worth. I felt empowered and supported by the faculty, fellow students, and the beauty of the campus. I learned that I could speak up, that people were responsive, and that I could make a difference. . . . None of the opportunities I have had to help people since then would have happened without the empowerment from Mills and getting a graduate education. I want as many women as posAPRIL HOPKINS, MFA ’03

sible to have that. Am I passionate about Mills? Yes!” — Alex Moses, ’64

M I L L S Q U A R T E R LY S P R I N G 2 0 0 4

7


MILLS MATTERS Sally Randel Leaves Mills As Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Sally Randel met countless alumnae and their families. Now, after 11 years, Sally has left the College to go into consulting. Sally Randel came to Mills College in 1992, after 25 years of service to Stanford University. Fundraising with alumnae and friends is based on helping people imagine and make real their own unique relationship with Mills’ future. Sally not only built connections with College donors, she was a leader in fostering a feeling of community on campus. Generations of alumnae speak to how her impact on Mills will be long felt. As a student, Noris Rose Bentivegna, ’01, was part of the Alumnae Fund’s phonathon program. She says of Sally, “Not only was she one of the most outgoing personalities on the Mills

campus, she had grown up in the same country where my family comes from, Panama! Sally was instrumental in introducing me to different career opportunities, and to people, that eventually led to my current position at U.C. Berkeley. Sally could bring laughter even into the most problematic situations, something I keep in mind as I manage a calling center of 70 students. I wish her the best of luck in her new career. Hasta luego!” Amy Franklin-Willis, ’94, now senior development director at the Haas School of Business, reflects, “As a graduate of a women’s college, [Goucher College in Baltimore] Sally ‘got’ what makes Mills so special. In my four years of working with her in OIA (two as a student worker, two as a major gift officer), I was continually impressed by her high level

NEWS OF THE COLLEGE

of professionalism. She always treated our volunteers and donors with the utmost respect and it is a model I try to emulate in my own work today.” Helen Drake Muirhead,

’58, has been a long-standing member of the Development Committee of the Mills College Board of Trustees. “Sally has a great sense of humor. You could always count on laughing when you met Sally, and at the same

time our work was always important and serious. She encouraged a strong and confident group of Mills women fundraisers.” Trustee Muffy McKinstry Thorne, ’48, joined the Board the year Sally arrived. They worked together on many projects, including Muffy’s 50th Reunion. “No matter to whom she spoke, Sally always found the right words to capture the Mills spirit, ‘the magical madness,’ perhaps, which we all remember and which still exemplifies Mills.” In the time she was here, the College and the AAMC raised a combined total of more than $120 million, including $30 million for the endowment. Sally Randel helped shape a vision for Mills’ future. She encouraged alumnae connections, was a role model to students, and held the mission of Mills at the center of her professional life. —Elizabeth Johnson, ’84

Warren Hellman Named Alumnus of the Year by U.C. Berkeley Warren Hellman, former chair of the Board of Trustees of Mills College, has been named Alumnus of the Year by U.C. Berkeley. Hellman is the chair of Hellman & Friedman LLC, a private equity investment firm in San Francisco. He is a competitive athlete, and at age 69 begins each morning at 3:45 a.m. with a six-mile jog. At U.C. Berkeley,

8

M I L L S Q U A R T E R LY S P R I N G 2 0 0 4

Hellman has supported sports, the sciences, faculty salaries, and the Haas School of Business. Ties between the Hellman family and Mills reach back generations. At least ten family members have attended Mills, and five have served as trustees, including Mr. Hellman’s grandmother, Frances Jacobi Hellman, his grandfather, I.W. Hellman, Jr., and his great-

aunt, Elinor Raas Heller, ’25, who served on the board for more than 40 years. Mr. Hellman’s personal involvement with Mills began in 1982 when he joined the Board of Trustees. He was involved in early contacts with the Olin Foundation, which funded construction of the new library. He was chair of the Board of Trustees from 1985 to 1992, which included the time the College considered going coeducational. In 1986, he established the Ruth Koshland Hellman

Faculty Fund, in memory of his mother, to increase Mills’ ability to recruit and retain top-notch faculty by improving faculty salaries. In 1990 he made a major gift to improve athletics at the College. In 2001 the College presented him the Distinguished Service Award. The Hellman family’s dedication to Mills continues to be strong. Warren Hellman’s daughter-in-law, Sabrina Hellman, is about to begin a term on the College’s Board of Trustees.


ALUMNAE ACTION New Staff at Reinhardt House

Donna Castro

Lori Sasaki

The AAMC is pleased to welcome Donna Castro to the position of director of alumnae relations and Lori Sasaki as administrative assistant for alumnae relations. Donna is an alumna of Pomona College, where she was active as a volunteer, served on the College’s Board of Trustees, and was the associate director of alumni relations. Lori is also an alumna of Pomona College and previously taught comparative cultures at Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia. We know you’ll want to join us in welcoming Donna and Lori at the next AAMC event you attend.

N E W S O F T H E A L U M N A E A S S O C I AT I O N

Alumnae Directory Update We are in the process of collecting information for our new directory of Mills alumnae and alumni. Many of you have already submitted updated information in email or written form for the directory, which will be published by the Bernard C. Harris Company. You may have also received a postcard asking you to verify your information by calling a special number reserved for Mills alumnae and alumni: (800) 729-4796. You can also order your copy of the directory when you make this call. Beginning in late April, Harris representatives will start phoning alumnae and alumni who have not yet verified their information. Personal copies of the directory may be ordered up until June 21, 2004, and the completed directories will be available in the fall. They will be available in hardbound and softbound book form, as well as on CD-ROM.

AAMC Annual Meeting

GIVE BACK TO MILLS Giving back is a long-standing tradition at Mills, one without which we could not move forward. Gifts to the Alumnae Fund support the Mills traditions of small classes, extraordinary faculty, and unique opportunities for students. Furthermore, your gifts helps us maintain our tradition of need-blind admission, allowing us to admit exceptional students, regardless of their ability to pay for their college education. These same students graduate with confidence and continue the tradition of showing the world what a Mills woman can do. Thank you to the more than 2,500 alumnae and alumni who

have already made a gift this fiscal year. Your participation in the Alumnae Fund is a bold statement about your belief in a Mills College education and what it can do for a current student and for the world. If you have not yet made your gift this year, please do so before our fiscal year ends on June 30, 2004. To make your gift today call the Alumnae Fund office at (510) 4302123, logon to <https://www.apply web.com/public/contribute?aamills>, or use the envelope in this magazine to mail in your check or credit card number. Your gift does make a difference.

All alumnae and alumni are invited to the Alumnae Association’s annual meeting on May 15 at 2:00 at Reinhardt Alumnae House. All graduates of Mills College are automatically members of the Alumnae Association of Mills College. At the annual meeting, members of the Association will vote on changes in the Association’s by-laws, as printed in the winter 2004 issue of the Quarterly. New officers of the Association will be announced, and the nominating committee will be elected.

Alumna Trustee Election Sara McClure, ’81, has been re-elected Alumna Trustee for a three-year term. She will continue to serve on both the Board of Governors of the Alumnae Association and the Board of Trustees of Mills College. Sara is a fundraiser for the University of New Mexico and lives in Albuquerque.

M I L L S Q U A R T E R LY S P R I N G 2 0 0 4

9


The

Roots of

American Experimentalism at Mills College, 1933–41 by David W. Bernstein, Professor of Music

Y

John Cage used the term “experimental” to describe a specific repertory of contemporary music. “An experiment,”

et working without preconceived may seem puzzling or perhaps even objectionable, since it implies an emphasis on the process of composing notions about how rather than its final result. Shouldn’t a composer have the end clearly in sight? music should sound creates an inclusive, rather than an exclusive, aesthetic attitude allowing for virtually unlimited possibilities. This openness to new sounds inspired composers to forge a unique, characteristically “American” musical identity recognized today as the experimentalist tradition. Experimentalism has played a crucial role in Mills’ history. Recently adopted as one of the core values underlying the College’s Strategic Plan, our experimentalist tradition distinguishes Mills from other liberal arts colleges. In this essay I will place experimentalism at Mills within a broader cultural landscape with historical roots on the West Coast during the early 20th century. During the 1930s and ’40s, experimentalist composers questioned what they saw as an arbitrary distinction between noise and so-called “musical” sounds. Noise is an integral element of human experience. Why should we exclude it from music? Composing with noise was a means to what Cage called the “all-sound music of the future.” Percussion music was the first step toward this goal. In an essay entitled “Drums along the Pacific,” written in 1940, composer Henry Cowell described the growing number of new works for percussion ensembles by composers on the West Coast. Cowell was an active participant in this development along with Cage and Lou Harrison. Cowell’s connection to Mills dates back to the early 1920s, when he A young John Cage and head of the Mills dance department Marian Van Tuyl, circa 1941. performed a piano recital in Lisser Hall. The concert featured his own he said, “is an act, the outcome of which is unknown.” For some, defining a musical work as an experiment

COURTESY OF THE MILLS COLLEGE ARCHIVES, F.W. OLIN LIBRARY

10

M I L L S Q U A R T E R LY W I N T E R 2 0 0 4


Top: Clock coils, used for chiming the hour on a mantle-piece type clock, mounted on a guitar body. Right: A metalaphone made of iron plumber’s pipe, designed by Lou Harrison and built by William Colvig.

PEG SKORPINSKI

PEG SKORPINSKI

piano compositions, using innovative techniques such as playing clusters of notes on the piano with fists, palms, or forearms, and strumming, scraping, or plucking the piano strings. In addition to his skill as both performer and composer, Cowell was an expert in world music, having studied in Berlin with the famous German ethnomusicologist Erich von Hornböstel. In 1933, Cowell’s name appears among the College’s summer session faculty, lecturing on a staggering list of topics including Irish, African, Balinese, Javanese, Greek, Cambodian, and Portuguese music. Both Cage and Harrison took classes in non-Western music with Cowell; through these studies they became acquainted with percussion instruments from around the world. As Harrison scholar Leta Miller has documented, much of their early work for percussion ensembles was written as accompaniment for modern dance. In the 1930s Harrison was active in San Francisco’s modern dance community, working primarily with Carol Beals, a student of Martha Graham. During the same period, Cage accompanied dancers at the extension division at the University of California, Los Angeles, and later for Bonnie Bird, another Graham student, at the Cornish School in Seattle. The faculty in Mills’ dance department, initially under the auspices of the College’s physical education department, was a veritable who’s who of modern dance. Acclaimed dancers and choreographers such as Hanya Holm, Bonnie Bird, Lester Horton, Tina Flade, Martha Graham, and Marian Van Tuyl taught regular classes, or at the College’s summer sessions or in the extension division. Harrison began working at Mills as dance accompanist for Tina Flade in the fall of 1937. He also participated in the College’s 1938 summer session offering instruction in percussion music and musical

M I L L S Q U A R T E R LY S P R I N G 2 0 0 4

11


The Lou Harrison Percussion Instrument Collection With the death of Lou Harrison on February 2, 2003, the Mills community lost a wonderful teacher, colleague, and dear friend. The world lost one of its most distinguished creative artists, a major force in American music, and the last living composer who helped establish the American experimentalist tradition during the first half of the 20th century. Harrison taught at Mills during the late 1930s and early 1940s, returning to the faculty as the Darius Milhaud Chair in Composition in 1980 and as the Mary Woods Bennett Chair from 1981 to 1983. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Mills in 1988 and, in 1999 was the first Jean MacDuff Vaux Composer-in-Residence. On February 23rd, 2004, the music department presented a concert of Harrison’s music honoring his many contributions to our community. This event also marked the inauguration of the Lou Harrison Percussion Instrument Collection at Mills. Percussion virtuoso William Winant inherited this unique collection of percussion instruments and generously donated it to the College. The collection contains many treasures from around the world such as Tibetan prayer bells, Peking opera gongs, African bells, elephant and water buffalo bells from India and Java, Native American rattles and rasps, dragon mouths, Korean drums, and Chinese tom-toms. There are also “found objects” such as graduated tin cans, a tortoise shell, clock coils, and brake drums, as well as beautifully handcrafted metallophones built by Harrison’s partner William Colvig (who also built the Mills Gamelan Si Darius and Si Madeleine in honor of Darius and Madeleine Milhaud) including the “Ptolemy Duple” (used in Harrison’s Homage to Pacifica), an instrument demonstrating seven-tone equal temperament, and another tuned to the first 32 partials of the overtone series. Some of the instruments (the brake drums, Chinese tom-toms, and various bells, wood blocks, and gongs) were played in the famous percussion music concerts that took place at Mills from 1939 to 1941. Acquiring this important collection assures yet another important link to Lou and Mills’ rich history, connections that we will always cherish. —David W. Bernstein

12

M I L L S Q U A R T E R LY S P R I N G 2 0 0 4

accompaniment for modern and classical dance forms. At that time Harrison not only worked with Tina Flade, but also with Lester Horton and Bonnie Bird, who were visiting Mills. Bird had brought with her several of her own students, including a gifted young dancer named Merce Cunningham. Cage and Harrison met in 1938. In an interview with Leta Miller, Harrison recalled that one day he answered the door of his small apartment in San Francisco and was greeted by a young man who said: “Hello, my name is John Cage. Henry Cowell sent me.” As Miller explains, this first encounter began a close friendship that lasted the remainder of both composer’s lives. It was through Harrison that Cage extended his connections to the modern dance world. Bird had offered Harrison a position at the Cornish School, but he declined, suggesting that Cage take the job. Cage began working in Seattle in the fall of 1938, where he had access to a large collection of percussion instruments. During his tenure at the Cornish School (1938–1940) Cage composed several works for percussion ensembles, including the First Construction (in Metal), his first major work. He organized three concerts of percussion music featuring his own compositions and pieces by Cowell and Harrison. The programs also presented music by other composers, including William Russell (a composer from Chicago with a background in jazz), Johanna Beyer (a German émigré known for her Music of the Spheres, a pioneering work incorporating live electronic sounds), Amadeo Roldán (a Cuban composer and conductor whose work entitled Ritmicas is among the earliest music written solely for percussion), and Mildred Couper (a composer from Santa Barbara who wrote music for pianos tuned in quarter tones). While working at the Cornish School, Cage formed the nucleus of his percussion ensemble: Xenia Kashevaroff (a striking Alaskan woman, whom he had married in 1935), Margaret Jansen, and Doris Dennison (who later joined the Mills dance department). In July 1939, Cage’s group performed at Mills, presenting percussion music by Beyer, Harrison, Russell, and Cage. That year was a highpoint in the history of the College’s summer sessions. The Bennington School of Dance was in residence, bringing such dance giants as Martha Graham, Hanya Holm, Doris Humphrey, José Limon, and Charles Weidman to Mills. Cage returned to Mills the following summer, teaching percussion courses with Harrison and presenting a concert of percussion music on July 18. The program (see page 13) records the performers, composers, and an extraordinary list of percussion instruments from around the world as well as “found objects” such as brake drums, a suitcase, and pipe lengths used for the concert. Artists from the Chicago School of Design, including the Bauhaus painter Lázló Moholy-Nagy, were in residence at Mills that summer and provided staging and lighting. Doris Dennison recalled that “One of the Bauhaus members was designing the stage for our percussion concert and we were used to huddling in a small group close together. So this young man who was designing the set for us wanted to put us


PHOTO COURTESY OF THE LOU HARRISON TRUST

Lou Harrison playing a quijada (jawbone of an ass) and Margaret Jansen, most likely rehearsing John Cageâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Third Construction (1940), circa 1941.

M I L L S Q U A R T E R LY S P R I N G 2 0 0 4

13


Left: From the Lou Harrison collection: an assortment of drums and rattles, brake drums, and graduated coffee cans.

PEG SKORPINSKI PEG SKORPINSKI PEG SKORPINSKI

on different levels and sort of scattered here and there. And John said, ‘Oh we couldn’t do that, we have to be closer together.’ And this guy said to John (imagine saying this to John Cage): ‘I would never have expected you to be so stodgy.’” The concert was a great success, attracting enthusiastic reviews not only from the local press, but also from Time magazine, placing Mills in a national spotlight. During the 1940 summer session Cage also composed a satirical work for piano and percussion for a dance by Marian Van Tuyl (who became head of the dance department) entitled Fads and Fancies at the Academy. He returned to Mills for another percussion music concert in July of 1941. The program featured works by Harrison, Roldán, Couper, Russell, and Cage. Van Tuyl choreographed a new dance entitled Horror Dream using Cage’s Imaginery Landscape No. 1. Originally composed in 1939 for a dance by Bonnie Bird, its score calls for percussion, muted piano, and electronic sounds produced by phonograph turntables playing frequency recordings. Cage saw electronic sounds as the next step beyond percussion music to the “all-sound music of the future.” In the early 1940s, he spent a great deal of time writing letters and meeting with potential donors to discuss plans for a Center for Experimental Music that would continue the development of percussion music and create opportunities for musicians to collaborate with sound engineers in exploring musical uses of electronic sounds. Cage also presented his plan to Mills College President Aurelia Reinhardt, who expressed enthusiasm for his idea but could not provide the necessary financial support. Eventually, Cage gave up his plan. We should note, however, that although Cage turned his attention to other musical projects, his dream finally did become a reality in the fall of 1966 when the San Francisco Tape Music Center moved to Mills, eventually becoming the Center for Contemporary Music. The July, 1941, event at Mills was the last percussion concert on the West Coast for Cage. Shortly thereafter he left for Chicago, later arriving in New York in the summer of 1942. Although during the 1940s Cage’s primary focus was writing music for the prepared piano, he did present a percussion music concert at the Museum of Modern Art in February, 1943, an event featured in the March 15 issue of Life magazine. Harrison stayed on in the Bay Area for about another year before leaving for Los Angeles and then moving to New York. The heyday of percussion music on the West Coast had come to an end. At least for the time being, the “drums along the Pacific” were silent. But today the American experimentalist tradition still thrives at Mills, continuing to inspire new directions in music, dance, the visual arts, and poetry, establishing the College as an internationally recognized center for artistic innovation. Professor of Music David W. Bernstein has taught at Mills since 1989. His research specialties include John Cage, Arnold Schoenberg, and the history of music theory. His most recent publications include a book (co-edited with Christopher Hatch) entitled Writings through John Cage’s Music, Poetry, and Art (Chicago University Press), and essays written for the Cambridge Companion to John Cage, The New York Schools of Music and the Visual Arts (ed. by Steven Johnson and published by Routledge), and the Cambridge History of Western Music Theory.


Looking Back at Mills during the 1930s and ’40s: An Interview with Lou Harrison, May 5, 1997 by David W. Bernstein and Maggi Payne BERNSTEIN: Can you tell us the circumstances and year when you first came to Mills? HARRISON: I was a San Franciscan during that period and I think the year was actually 1937 when I came here on Henry Cowell’s recommendation. In fact, I was introduced to [Mills dance instructor] Tina Flade at the Cowell house during one of Olive [Cowell’s] “do’s,” her “salons.” We talked a little bit and then Henry Cowell recommended me as an accompanist for Tina Flade and her classes. . . . I came over and worked with Tina and stayed on to the transition with Marian Van Tuyl. There were summer sessions separate from the regular activities and I was in two or three of those, at least two that I remember clearly. The dance department was then part of physical education. I was there during the period of its departure from physical education and its becoming an autonomous school. Eleanor Lauer was there working, I think she was in her graduate period. She became a major part of the dance department, growing out of Marian Van Tuyl’s work. Also, I connected with the music department very early through my friend Esther Williamson, who was there on a special arrangement, I think for a year or so, and we became close friends. She was a very dear and sympathetic woman, and a skilled pianist. It seemed to me she could do anything, but then I have always had difficulties with the piano. I’ve got these stubby peasant hands, you know. As Esther herself said, I can play legato beautifully, but as for the rest, no. One year we invited [John] Cage, and we had him for another year too. One year we had the Bauhaus people and I think that was the same year that John and Xenia [Cage] came from Seattle. And we had fun! There was a dinner held at Olney Hall and Xenia didn’t have any clothes to wear (because their baggage from Seattle had been held up in a strike). So I pinned her up in an India print bedspread, and we had a grand time about that, and nobody noticed. It was high fashion, you know. BERNSTEIN: Looking back on the 1930s and ’40s at Mills, I always wonder how it got started, such a wonderful confluence of artists, musicians, and writers, all coming to the summer sessions. HARRISON: I don’t really know how it all got started, but if you look back through the history of Mills it has always been that way. You look at the musicians who have been

here; it’s the roster. And I think that is true of almost all the arts. There has always been a confluence. I don’t know when it started, to answer your question. BERNSTEIN: Did you know Aurelia Reinhardt? HARRISON: Oh, she was wonderful! She was full of mad humor, and she was always doing 50 things at once. I subscribe to the notion that Aurelia had a lot to do with a certain blossoming here. She was willing to support the artists on the campus. Somehow she could help make it happen. She was a queenly person, magnificent. BERNSTEIN: I read a story about how Cage met with her to try to set up an experimental music center at Mills, and that she was enthusiastic at the time but the College didn’t have the money. He had the idea to build an institution similar to our Center for Contemporary Music. It would have been amazing if it had started 25 years earlier. HARRISON: Well, thank heavens it’s still going now. . . . Also, there was the wonderful support of Alfred Frankenstein. He was an amazing man. I was not more than 19 when he grabbed my lapels on the street and he said, “Tell me all about Charles Ives.” Astonishing really. We had so many interests in common, I am sorry that we didn’t meet more often and become very close friends. What a man. Also when Virgil [Thomson] was going to be given a medal by the MacDowell Colony, he said “I will only accept it if the speech is made by Alfred Frankenstein.” So Alfred went out there and made a speech. BERNSTEIN: We need many more critics like Alfred Frankenstein. HARRISON: Yes, “art encouragers.” He wasn’t a critic in that other sense; he was an encourager, a finder-outer about everything. BERNSTEIN: I think, in describing the Mills music department, you used the term “Jeffersonian academical community.” HARRISON: It really is. It’s true. And it works too, the academical village. There are all sorts of things here, aren’t there? There is the Center for Contemporary Music, about the new things coming down the pike, and being creative with that stuff. And there is some part here that studies Beethoven and such. So it is quite broad. Even though the faculty and the community of students is not large, it covers a lot. It is again like, you know, “there were only a few people there but everybody was there.”

M I L L S Q U A R T E R LY S P R I N G 2 0 0 4

15


Grant Brings Cutting-edge Research to Mills by Doreen Hinton, ’04

A new $94,000 grant will earn higher visibility for Mills and research opportunities for Mills undergraduates. Assistant Professor of Biology Susan Spiller recently received a prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for research in biophotonics. The grant funds laboratory equipment

PEG SKORPINSKI

Assistant Professor of Biology Susan Spiller.

purchases. This increases research opportunities for Mills students who are funded under Dr. Spiller’s collaboration with the NSF-funded Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology, which provides stipends for student laboratory associates. The new equipment will enhance the biology department’s research facilities, extending the capacity to look at how living plants, animals, fungi, and bacteria use photons, energy packets in the form of light, in order to assess and interact with their environment. Susan Spiller earned a PhD in plant physiology from U.C. Berkeley in 1979. She continued her studies in plant biochemistry and plant molecular biology as a post-doctoral research fellow at Stanford University, U.C. Davis, and U.C. Berkeley. She came to Mills in 1988 and teaches general biology, plant biology, plant physiology, and lives of women scientists. A major goal of the research initiative is to attract young women students into the field of biophotonics—“to expand the possibilities for our students,” according to Dr. Spiller—by involving them as undergraduate researchers. The program gives Mills students a chance to develop “a better understanding of the biological world, and along the way train for and be exposed to this kind of research.” Dr. Spiller’s team currently consists of two post-baccalaureate premed students, Sunshine Dwojak and Melissa Lucey. In addition, Victoria Parson, ’05, and another post-bac student, Kathy Marshall, were supported during the summer of 2003. Each student participates in every aspect of the research, giving them valuable lab skills and experience that is difficult to get at a

16

M I L L S Q U A R T E R LY S P R I N G 2 0 0 4

larger college or university. Their undergraduate research experience will ultimately put them well ahead of their competitors for graduate study, medical school, and research in the biotech industry. The primary benefit for Dr. Spiller is knowing her research will continue during the academic year, even while she is busy teaching, advising, grant writing, and attending meetings. Moreover, Dr. Spiller can “direct the energy students have to explore questions and issues that are at the forefront of knowledge. . . . I’m not teaching these students out of textbooks—I’m teaching real-world, scientific problem solving.” Dr. Spiller’s research field, biophotonics, uses technology to understand the interaction of biological systems with light and other forms of radiant energy. Her project, “Laboratory Instrumentation for Biophotonics: Investigation of Plant and Cyanobacteria Pigments,” will investigate two types of biological systems: plant cells and their chloroplasts and cyanobacteria. Plant chloroplasts are complex structures found inside plant cells—they make green plants green. Their function is to use radiant energy from the sun to produce food for the plant. Plant chloroplasts act as solar energy collectors, power sources for the plant and the planet. The second type of biological system Dr. Spiller will study, cyanobacteria, were once commonly called blue-green algae. However, the “algae” are not algae at all but bacteria—and the blue-green color comes from the chlorophyll pigment they contain. These bacteria also have biomolecules that can absorb red, far red, blue, or yellow light. As Dr. Spiller explains, both plant chloroplasts and cyanobacteria can detect amounts of light so small that they “can react to the light of a single firefly.” The new NSF-funded instruments will not only measure how many photons are getting to the molecules Mills researchers are studying, the instruments will also be able to tell researchers which color photons are active in initiating biological processes. The color-detecting ability of biomolecules is significant; it may eventually allow scientists to detect cellular and molecular anomalies in deep tissue. Biophotonic research eventually will have applications in the fields of medicine, genetics, biology, agriculture, and environmental science. In medicine, it will enable the study of human tissue at the cellular and molecular level for detecting, diagnosing, monitoring, and treating disease. “You might say it’s still in the realm of science fiction,” Dr. Spiller says, “but its potential is what we’re exploring.” Dr. Spiller’s research will also enhance Mills’ participation in the Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology. The $40 million NSF-funded research center’s focus is to improve the quality of life by dramatically expanding the use of photons in the development of technology for the life sciences, bioengineering, and health care. Doreen Hinton is a senior English literature major who will graduate in May, 2004.


Getting Centered: The Writing Center Then and Now

BRUCE COOK

by Joni Goddard ’02, MA ’04 The Mills College Writing Center has, for the last 30 years, been rescuing students from their various composition anxieties and frustrations. Currently, this student-run resource assists over 100 students monthly but is still surprisingly little-known. Originally, the Writing Center was the product of an optional course for students who needed to work on their writing skills, a development spearheaded by Dr. Ruth Saxton, MA ’72, as part of her involvement in the Bay Area Writing Project (BAWP) in 1975. The BAWP is a U.C. Berkeley program that collaborates with Bay Area schools to provide resources for the teaching of writing, as well as assistance in the development of various writing programs, such as writing centers. The optional course that Dr. Saxton developed was met with overwhelming student demand and eventually led to the establishment of the Mills Writing Center. Today the Writing Center takes up a corner of Lucie Stern Hall, with its offices in rooms 3 and 4. Both undergraduate and graduate students from any department with any writing-related project can sign up for an appointment on the door of the Center, or drop in to see if a tutor is available. A typical tutoring session lasts about a half hour, and involves working one-on-one with a graduate English student on whatever aspect of the writing process the student needs assistance with. Dr. Kirsten Saxton, ’90, director of composition, describes the Writing Center as “a terrific resource for all Mills students. English graduate students trained in tutoring offer help with all stages of the writing process, from idea generating to polishing a final draft. The writing center is a vibrant place, full of students working on everything from literature essays, to chemistry lab reports, to graduate school applications.” With 100 monthly visitors, both new and repeating tutees, the Writing Center is serving students well. According to Jeana Hrepich, ’02, MA ’04, current Writing Center Director, “Students often leave with a sense of determination to complete their assignment, because they receive encouragement and support from the tutors that helps them move beyond their frustrations and into productive writing. In addition, the TAs help students with the tools they need to become confident and independent writers.” The benefits of the Writing Center seem to reach not only the students who frequent the Center for help but also those students who work there. The tutors hone their own writing skills by helping others, notes teaching assistant (TA) Cynthia Schulz, MFA ’04. “I think it’s an under-utilized resource,” she says. The graduate students who work in and maintain the Writing Center are chosen by English department faculty and the director of composition, based on applications submitted every spring. The students who are chosen must take or have taken the Theories and Strategies of Teaching Writing course, attend monthly meetings, and work an allotted number of hours in the center to earn the award of full tuition coverage per semester worked. In addition, the TAs work on committees to maintain the writing center, publicize their services, and hold various Writing Center events from pizzaparty open houses to lunch-time lectures about various writing topics and helpful composition tips. The Writing Center will celebrate its 30-year anniversary in 2005, which is strong testimony to the value it has added to the Mills community, not to mention the improvement of student writing. The Center is open Sundays from 10:00–4:00; Mondays and Tuesdays 10:00–7:00; and Wednesdays and Thursdays 10:00–6:00, if you’d like to say thanks or just check out one of Mills’ better-kept secrets.

Tutor Kimberly Yan, MA ’04, goes over a paper with Angela West, MA ’05.

Joni Goddard, ’02, MA ’04, is a Bay Area teacher of English and composition. She is currently working on a book of critical essays on 18th-century female authors and will probably enter a PhD program in the fall. M I L L S Q U A R T E R LY S P R I N G 2 0 0 4

17


Through rigorous course work taught by skilled and caring faculty and with co-curricular offerings designed to enhance student life, Mills students are prepared to make their way in the world with confidence.

YOU CAN STRENGTHEN THIS TRADITION BY MAKING A GIFT TO THE MILLS COLLEGE A L U M N A E F U N D T O D A Y.


A Call for Literary Lights among Members of the Classes Ending in 4 and 9 If you are a published writer, the author of novels, short stories, children’s literature, or poetry, and you are also a member of a class ending in 4 or 9, don’t hide your literary light under a bushel. Instead, come to your Reunion in September and display your talents at the Celebration of the Arts. This year we feature the literary arts, and you are invited to participate. Your fellow reunioners want to know about your achievements! You must apply to be included: contact Donna Castro, director of alumnae relations, at <dcastro@mills.edu> or telephone her at Reinhardt Alumnae House at (510) 4303363. You may also fax material to her at (510) 430-1401. We must receive your materials by Thursday, May 20, 2004. Send your name, address, email, phone, fax, and the following information: 1. Artist’s statement: describe your work and what has been your inspiration 2. Biographical information: education, important classes/instructors (at Mills and elsewhere), home, family 3. Honors, awards, website if applicable 4. An example of your work. Maximum length: ten pages.

SUBSCRIBE TO THE QUARTERLY The Mills Quarterly is sent free of charge to all alumnae and alumni of Mills College. You can help us cover our costs by sending us $25, $35, or $50 for your subscription. This year, voluntary subscribers paid for our entire photo budget. Thanks for your help!

www.mills.edu Visit <www.mills.edu> for all sorts of information about Mills College Click on “Alumnae” to find out about

Upcoming events Free email for life Back issues of the Quarterly Much more!

Frequently called numbers on the Mills campus: Mills College Admission Office Athletics Campus Information Graduate Admission Office of Institutional Advancement Office of Student Life President’s Office Provost’s Office

(510) 430-2135 430-2172 430-2255 430-3309 430-2097 430-2130 430-2094 430-2096

Alumnae Association Anne Gillespie Brown, ’68, Alumnae Director Cecily Peterson, ’88, Acting Alumnae Fund Director Donna Castro, Alumnae Relations Director Sarah Malashock, Development Associate/Phonathon David M. Brin, MA ’75, Mills Quarterly Editor P. Doreen Bueno, ’97, Records Administrator

430-2112 430-3349 430-3363 430-3331 430-3312 430-3374


Brown v. Board of Education: 50 Years Later T H E L I T T L E K N O W N S T O RY O F T H E “ W H I T E B R O W N ” by Edna Mitchell, Professor of Education

F

LBJ LIBRARY, PHOTO YOICHI OKAMOTO

accept Linda, the NAACP took the case first $3,000 to finance the case. The story ifty years have passed since the to court. Four years later the Supreme of Esther Swirk Brown, Jewish housewife Supreme Court sent shock waves Court made its momentous decision. turned activist, is lost to all but a few who through the nation with its proWe interviewed the attorneys, the remember her. Esther Brown—with nouncement that “separate educational judge in the case, teachers, librarians, courage, tenacity, and an intense sense of facilities are inherently unequal.” While and professors who testified. Dr. Speer justice, was the catalyst for this case and reflecting on the five decades that have gave me the responsibility for interviewis the beginning of the drama. She has passed since our schools were integrated ing Esther Swirk Brown, a local housewife lived for me since those intensely personby the courts, and to prepare for discuswhose story surprised and inspired me. al interviews 40 years ago, as a voice in sions in my classes at Mills, I remembered She had nearly single-handedly ignited my mind and a cherished guide in my an old manila folder marked “Brown v. the spark that grew to fueling the fire of heart. Read her story as I found it in my Topeka” filed in the far corner of a cabithe early Civil Rights movement. She old interview notes, and you will know net I rarely open. Inside the folder were started the momentum leading to Brown why. hand-written notes, the remnants of my v. Board of Education. In 1948, Esther Brown and her African first funded research project. I had saved She laughingly admitted to me that American housekeeper, Mrs. Hall (a pseuthose notes for 40 years, moving them she was referred to as the “White donym), talked about the new school when I moved, without taking time to Brown,” and recalled that she raised the bond in Merriam Kansas, in suburban read them. Now was the time. Kansas City. Esther was excited In the spring of 1964, ten years Thurgood Marshall represented Linda Brown before the Supreme that it would enable the district to after the Brown v. Board of Court in the famous Brown v. Board of Education case. Education of Topeka decision, I make improvements at Walker was a part-time graduate student School, the local “colored” eleat the University of Kansas City mentary school. Mrs. Hall told her (soon to become the University of cynically that no improvements Missouri at Kansas City). Dr. Hugh would be made because new Speer, dean of the School of boundaries had been drawn in the Education, received funding to South Park area in order to build write a ten-year follow up story on another all-white elementary the Topeka chapter of Brown v. school. Esther, stunned and hardly Board of Education in which he had believing, decided to investigate. been a key witness. His goal was to She visited Walker School and was interview the people involved with appalled by the conditions she the case to create a history of the found: no indoor plumbing, inadelocal events. He was looking for a quate lighting, books and supplies graduate assistant to help with the in deplorable condition. The interviews and the writing. He school had seven grades crowded chose me. into two rooms. The teachers, Together we interviewed according to Esther’s report, had Reverend Oliver Brown and his not been to college at all. family. In 1950, Rev. Brown had Surprised and indignant after attempted to enroll his daughter this visit, she phoned the president Linda, a third-grader, in a white eleof the School Board asking what mentary school near their home in could be done to remedy this situTopeka. In order to get to the nearation. Her intensity alarmed the est black elementary school, Linda board president who responded had to walk a mile through a railby inviting her to a special meeting road switchyard. When the princiof the Board of Education. At the pal of the white school refused to meeting, instead of the elected

20

M I L L S Q U A R T E R LY S P R I N G 2 0 0 4


district school boundaries had been careboard, she faced an unfriendly audience fully gerrymandered. A line had been of several hundred people. The board drawn around every African American president opened the meeting with the home to exclude those children from announcement, “There seems to be a white schools by lines of residence. In race problem in our community. Some September, when a small group of Black people are trying to get the niggers into children and their mothers went to be the white schools.” After introducing admitted to a white school, they were Esther Brown, whom he said was there to turned away. represent the Negro school, he stepped In desperation, Esther persuaded off the platform, leaving Esther sitting these parents to keep their children out alone facing an increasingly hostile audiof Walker School, hoping to gain time for ence. the case to go to court. She found two Denying she represented anyone, but teachers, rented a small house, and set was there at the invitation of the board up a private school paying the salaries president to share information, Esther from her own funds. In the meantime, the appealed to him for confirmation. From school board maintained Walker School his place in the audience he shrugged with its two teachers and with only three without uttering a word. Believing that children attending. the community needed to know what she Months passed without legal action. now knew, she tried to describe what she Funds were rapidly depleted. Esther did had seen at the school and how badly it what she could to raise money, including needed improvements. The crowd reactmaking and selling cupcakes. Hoping to ed as a mob, not letting her speak. find funding and support from sources Someone tried to hit her. A minister in other than her family savings, she travthe audience attempted to speak in her eled through Kansas talking to any who defense, but the crowd wouldn’t listen. would listen. During this process she There were shouts of “Nigger lover, go learned the NAACP was looking for test back where you came from!” For the first cases on integration. Her case did not fit time in her life she was afraid for her own the criteria of “equal but separate,” since safety. This was only the beginning. they planned to challenge “separate” When she was safely home, her fear as inherently unequal. H o w e v e r, changed to outrage and a determination t h e y helped her recruit to fight back. She had African American no preconceived FOR THE FIRST attorneys to represent plan, no the plaintiffs in the outside TIME IN HER LIFE, case: the father and support, ESTHER BROWN WAS sons team of Elisha, but believed AFRAID FOR HER OWN John, and Charles naïvely that she SAFETY. THIS WAS Scott of Topeka, and was right and jusONLY THE BEGINNING. chief counsel for the tice would prevail. NAACP, Thurgood Her immediate reacMarshall of New York tion was to take the City. (These attorneys later were engaged School Board to court. She went to one in presenting Brown v. Board of attorney after another. Black lawyers didEducation in Topeka, and Thurgood n’t trust her or were afraid of the case. White lawyers were also reluctant. Marshall eventually presented the case By the time for school to begin, no before the Supreme Court.) Now, with progress had been made. Esther legal representation, Esther brought suit appealed to the parents not to send their against the County Board of Education in children back into that building. She what informally is called the South Park hoped to enroll the students temporarily Case, but officially is known as Webb v. in white schools until Walker School was School District 90 of Merriam, Kansas. ready. However, during the summer the Her struggles were not over; personal

attacks and family crises began to mount. The threat she posed to the status quo had become real, and the threats to her safety and well-being also became real. She could no longer get a babysitter. Most of her neighbors would not speak to her. The home of a neighbor who had tried to help her was bombed. The African Americans she had tried to help were threatened and often had their credit cut off. Crosses were burned on her front yard. The telephone rang all night long for weeks with obscene remarks and threats to burn her house. A severe blow came when her husband, Paul Brown, was fired from his job by his own stepfather, who was embarrassed and infuriated by Esther’s activities. Finances were bleak, but she persisted in her cause. Eventually, in June 1949, the South Park Case was heard, and the deplorable condition of Walker School was verified. The opinion of the Court stated: “. . . that this school was inadequate, insufficient, out of date, dilapidated, and not fit for a school.” The court demanded specific school improvements for equity of facilities and curricula by the fall of 1949. The court also ruled that the children must be admitted to the one and only elementary school until a proper renovation of their school was done. The major assumption in the decision was that segregation was legal if based on a clear district rationale and if the schools were equal in every way. By the end of this case, Esther was working with the NAACP to find a suitable case to challenge the legality of segregation. There were cases of inequality under segregation to be found in many states, but the NAACP, with Thurgood Marshall as their legal defense director, looked for a case where there were no obvious signs of inequity except segregation itself. Kansas provided clear examples. In Kansas, a “free” state during the Civil War, integration was already mandated and working well in secondary schools. Even the elementary schools, when segregated by race, were generally equally well equipped with well-educated teachers, although only Black teachers

M I L L S Q U A R T E R LY S P R I N G 2 0 0 4

21


have maintained or moved back toward in schools as social institutions that must taught in the segregated Black schools. model justice and equity and are dedicatWichita appeared to offer promising de facto segregation. We are failing as a ed to creating schools that are communicases; but to her dismay, when Esther society to adequately educate our chilties of learners. Teachers entering the went there to talk with the African dren—all of our children. This failure is profession from Mills are grounded in a American teachers, they voted not to parpart of the complex fabric of our dividpedagogy infused with the belief that ticipate. They had jobs ed society. every child can succeed, every student is to lose, and they were At Mills, the to be respected and valued, and that afraid of trouble. They commitment to teaching is a moral and ethical act requirhad no faith in the law equity and justice ing both action and reflection. or the courts. has long been a The moral meaning of Brown v. Board Esther, in concert theme and a dream. with the NAACP, went When I came to Mills of Education, and the mandate to realize to many African in 1973 as head of this meaning for a vital civil society American families in the department of through our schools, is the daily voice of Kansas trying to pereducation, the first conscience for faculty and students at challenge I faced suade them to come Mills today. Remembering the courawas to present forward. Many cases geous struggles surrounding Brown v. to the State of met the criteria, but Board of Education provides the impetus California a new plan most of those families to continue the hard work that still lies were reluctant to be for the education of ahead. Esther Brown may have been too teachers under named. The Scotts, the busy, and her life too short, to write her the R y a n A c t , lawyers for Esther in the own story; but I feel a responsibility to which estabSouth Park case, identiher and to Dr. Hugh Speer—who had l i s h e d new regulafied cases in Topeka Professor of Education Edna Mitchell faith in me—to share Esther’s story as an tions for teaching that had merit, includexample of how one woman’s courage credentials. That ing that of Linda Brown. and leadership contributed to social jusplan for Mills grew, in part, out of my Esther and the attorneys met with the tice and helped change history. work with Dr. Speer and had as its founBrowns, who agreed to cooperate. dation a commitment to the education Esther also persuaded Dr. Speer to Professor of Education Edna Mitchell of urban teachers in a mulbecome involved in the case. His task was came to Mills from a position at Smith to find expert witnesses in the social sciticultural society. We College in 1973 as head of the ences who could provide research docuhave remained true department of education. She FIFTY YEARS menting the effects of discrimination. to this commithas served as director AFTER THE LANDMARK Many of them, including Dr. Speer, conment, sharpof graduate studDECISION, ALTHOUGH tributed testimony for the case. It was ening and ies, director of the their testimony that became the basis for clarifying over experimental GOALS ARE FAR FROM the final Supreme Court decision. the years. The evening degree proREALIZED, THE When I interviewed Esther Brown in department today gram for working NATION HAS COME A women, and founding 1964 and asked if she were going to write places its highest LONG WAY. her story, she dismissed the idea, saying priority on developing director of the Mills there was no time for looking back with teachers to work with Women’s Leadership so much still to do in the future. Not long diverse populations and urban schools. Institute. She was a Fulbright Professor to after, she was diagnosed with breast The teacher preparation program Hungary, has worked with the Ministry of cancer. She died in 1970. actively recruits minority students and Education in Nepal, and in 2003 spent a Fifty years after the landmark decirequires all students to work in multiculsabbatical year as acting assistant dean at sion, although goals are far from realized, tural classrooms. We engage in often Zayed University in the United Arab the nation has come a long way. Federal painful dialogue about the effects of Emirates. She is married to Dr. Robert action during these past five decades has racism in our lives and work as well as in Anderson, head of the department of enforced integration in transportation, schools and society. We now prepare anthropology at Mills. hotels, restaurants, theaters, sports and administrators as well as teachers to be entertainment, and schools. This is a draeducational leaders in urban public matic contrast to 1950. schools. However, we cannot be proud of our The preparation of teachers at Mills progress toward equity when our today is unified by a core commitment to schools, and other facets of our society, respect diversity in all forms. We believe

22

M I L L S Q U A R T E R LY S P R I N G 2 0 0 4


PASSAGES Gifts in Honor of Joan Thompson Armstrong, ’51, by Tanya “Toni” Ojeda Fry, ’51 Phyllis Cole Bader, ’35—Happy Birthday! by Barbara Evans, ’63, Katharine “Kathie” Mulky Warne, ’45, and Emma-Jane “Emmie” Peck White, ’35 Georgian Simmonds Bahlke, ’51, by Tanya “Toni” Ojeda Fry, ’51 Virginia Vollmer Barr, ’46, by Shiela Barr Robertson, ’74 Gerry Wong Ching, ’57, by Patricia Taylor Lee, ’57 Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Coleman’s 60th Wedding Anniversary by Elise “Liz” Feldman Rosenfeld, ’47 Tracey Franklin Corbett, ’65, by Miel Corbett, ’91 Myrna Bostwick Cowman, ’57, by Barbara Hunter, ’57 Phyllis Jo Criswell—Happy Birthday! by Georgianna “Georgi” Criswell Heitman, ’60 Madeleine Ebbesen Davis, ’46, by Cynthia Savell Ann Winsor Doskow, ’57, by Barbara Hunter, ’57 Carol Meyer Doyle, MFA ’81, by Barbara Hunter, ’57 Virginia “Ginny” Ward Graves, ’57, by Barbara Hunter, ’57 Eleanor Hadley, ’38, by Maud Steyaert, ’88 Anne Hege, ’04, by Tamra Cummings Hege, MA ’97 Gail Indvik by Michelle Balovich, ’03 Mary Ann Childers Kinkead, ’63, by Anita Aragon Bowers, ’63 Lauren Knobel, ’84, by Linda Kay, ’73 Carol “Icl” Lennox, ’61, by Lina Au, ’77, and David Stranz Marcel Madison by Earcie Hunter Karen May, ’86, by Melora Gardner Scharf, ’85 Cheryl Murray by Michelle Balovich, ’03 Lynn Dean Newhall, ’57, by Barbara Hunter, ’57 Donna Petersen by Violet Smith Nicola Place, ’95, by Michelle Balovich, ’03 Sheila Powers Converse, ’57, by Barbara Hunter, ’57

Toni Putnam, ’57, by Barbara Hunter, ’57 Sally Randel by Cynthia “Cindy” Taves, ’48 Sally Millett Rau, ’51, by Edith “Edy” Mori Young, ’51 Estrellita Hudson Redus, ’65, MFA ’75, by Marilyn Schuster, 65 Deborah “Debbie” Beck Rosenberg, ’57, by Barbara Hunter, ’57 Jane “Jinx” Rule, ’52, by Edith “Edy” Mori Young, ’51 Beverly Bostick Solo, ’51, by Tanya “Toni” Ojeda Fry, ’51 Linda Barker Spear, ’63, by Anita Aragon Bowers, ’63

Gretchen Stainbrook, ’65, by Suzy Mygatt Wakefield, ’65 Margaret “Margie” Thompson Stryble, ’35, by Marian Wickline, ’35 Jeanne Thomas, ’51, by Tanya “Toni” Ojeda Fry, ’51 Mary Ausplund Tooze, ’44 — Happy Birthday! by Phyllis Cole Bader, ’35, Elise “Liz” Feldman Rosenfeld, ’47, and Katharine “Kathie” Mulky Warne, ’45 Alexander Tye, born September 28, 2003, to Suzanne and Dan Tye, by Jane Cudlip King, ’42 Judith “Judy” Salzer Warner, ’63, by Anita Aragon Bowers, ’63 Margaret “Peggy” Weber, ’65, by Marilyn Schuster, ’65 Emily Yarnall, ’63, by Anita Aragon Bowers, ’63

Connie Young Yu, ’63, by Anita Aragon Bowers, ’63 The AAMC Staff by Susan Brown Penrod, ’71 The Class of 1969’s 35th Reunion by Carol Press Pristoop, ’69 The commitment and dedication to educating women of diverse backgrounds by Judith Cohen, ’73

Gifts in Memory of Suzanne Adams, ’48, by Marc Fairman Una Kelly Aiken, ’35, by Barbara Bundschu, ’38, and Neil McDaniel Mary “Curry” Woodin Babcock, ’39, by Mary LeDonne, ’84, MA ’88

Evelyn White Affleck, ’37 Evelyn White Thomson Affleck was born in San Antonio, Texas, where she lived most of her life. She studied education and child life at Mills. In 1941 she married Frederick Thomson, and together they raised five children. Mr. Thomson died in 1969. In 1973 she married Harry Affleck, Sr. Mrs. Affleck’s life was characterized by quiet generosity. She valued integrity, common sense, and self-discipline, all of which she possessed in great measure. “She adored Mills; it was a huge part of her past that she never stopped talking about,” said her daughter, Elizabeth Wilde. “From as far back as we can remember, never a year would go by that we didn’t either see or hear from lifelong friends she had first met at Mills,” her children wrote. Mrs. Affleck donated the garden and fountain at El Campanil in memory of her Orchard Meadow head resident, Victoria French Allen. The garden was dedicated on September 18, 2003, and Mrs. Affleck, together with her children and grandchildren, flew from San Antonio to Oakland for the dedication. “While her health was fragile, she was totally dedicated to making the trip, and it was wonderful to see the twinkle in her eye as we drove onto campus,” her children wrote. “No doubt it was one of the final goals she had set for herself, and she relished every moment.” Mrs. Affleck is survived by four of her five children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Ruth Palmer Gist, ’22 Mrs. Gist was born in San Jose, California. She studied English at Mills and received a teaching credential from U.C. Berkeley after graduating from Mills. She also took courses in social work at Columbia University in New York. From 1923–1930 Mrs. Gist held various positions in social work and teaching. In 1927 she returned to Mills as assistant head resident at Warren Olney Hall and instructor in education. In 1928 she married Arthur S. Gist, who was appointed president of Humboldt State Teachers College (now Humboldt State University) in 1930. He retired in 1950. Mrs. Gist was active in the social and academic life of the college and with volunteer activities in Arcata, where Humboldt State is located. The Gists returned to the Bay Area, and from 1952–1958 Mrs. Gist taught English and was a counselor at San Leandro High School. Mrs. Gist began writing poetry in her teens and published a book of poems as well as a children’s book, New Stories from Eskimo Land. Ruth Gist Baldwin, her daughter, wrote, “Among my mother’s most affectionate interests were Mills College and the Alumnae Association.” Mrs. Gist was class secretary and class agent for many years and fondly recalled the beauty of the Mills campus, the inspiring teachers, and the life-long friends she made at Mills.

M I L L S Q U A R T E R LY S P R I N G 2 0 0 4

23


Passages Lila Lange by Phyllis Cole Bader, ’35 June Barnum, ’50, by Kay Fraser Gilliland, ’50, Mary Schratter Hale, ’82, and Mary Lanigar, ’38, Marjorie “Midge” McLaren Bolton, ’35, by Janet Hopkins Richards, ’36 Beverley Nielsen Canterbury, ’50, by Susan Black, Marvin Christiansen, Sylvia Coats, Joyce Congos, Marilyn Dale, Gretchen Dreyfuss, Inez Losness, Joanne Ramona, Gerry Ramoni, Ernest

Rideout, Lois Robinson, Barbara Sanborn, Marian Sullivan, and Robert Thomas Jane Cassedy, ’37, by Louisa Pownall Wagner, ’38 Fred Clarke by Susan Hutchens Wisdom, ’64 George S. Coblentz by Jane Cudlip King, ’42 Bruce Cook by Sonja Talvi Rosen, ’94 Mary Lou Stueck Cunningham, ’51, by Robert Cunningham Mary Elizabeth Davis by Cynthia Savell Dr. Ralph Davis, Jr.

by Cynthia Savell Evelyn “Peg” Deane, ’41, by Mary Hart Clark, ’42, and Margaret Deane Ralph DuCasse by Helen Peterson Brainerd, ’64, Barbara Bundschu, ’38, and Myra Bernstein Toth, ’65 Helen Young by Julie Gonsalves Eseltine, ’00 Joy Waltke Fisher, ’55, by Diane Smith Janusch, ’55 Olive Foley by Robert Hughes Kathleen “Keiki” Wallace Gibson, ’46, by Betty Chu Wo, ’46

Marjorie “Midge” McLaren Bolton, ’35

PAINTING BY JOHN BOLTON

Mrs. Bolton was a tireless volunteer and former executive director of San Mateo County’s Volunteer Center, which works with approximately 170 public and private nonprofit agencies and places about 3,000 volunteers annually. Mrs. Bolton earned a master’s degree in physical education from Stanford in 1938 and married John Bolton in 1940. She began volunteering with the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts as she was raising her family. She was a founding member of Mission Hospice of San Mateo County and served as board president of the Peninsula Community Foundation, a private philanthropic organization that saw its assets more than triple under her leadership. In 1996 she was elected to San Mateo County’s Women’s Hall of Fame. She was devoted to Mills, serving as a member of the Board of Governors of the AAMC, as president of the organization, and as both Alumna Trustee and a regular Trustee of Mills College. “Mills lost a stalwart with Midge’s death,” wrote Esther Rosenblatt Landa, ’33. Mrs. Bolton is survived by two daughters, a son, and two grandchildren.

Anne Parsons Frame, ’24

24

M I L L S Q U A R T E R LY S P R I N G 2 0 0 4

ARIEL EATON THOMAS, ’63

Mrs. Frame died on January 12, 2004, one week after her 100th birthday. She grew up in Seattle, majored in sociology and economics at Mills, and was the Mills student body president in her senior year. She studied business at Columbia University for a year, and in 1926 married Frederic Tootell, a Gold-Medal winner in the 1924 Olympics. Working with children was one of her great interests, and she started a Girl Scout troop in Kingston, Rhode Island, and founded Kingston’s first preschool and kindergarten, which soon became part of the education department of Rhode Island State College (now the University of Rhode Island). After her first marriage ended in divorce, she married Capt. Jasper Ewing Brady, Jr., who was killed in World War II. During the war she returned to Seattle, where she worked for the Red Cross and served as a trustee of Seattle’s Children’s Hospital and Medical Center. From 1939–1942 she served as a Regional Trustee of Mills College. In 1948 she married Howard Frame. They made their home on the San Francisco Peninsula most of their married life. Mrs. Frame was founder, volunteer, and director of the Children’s Health Council in Palo Alto and a trustee of the National Recreation and Park Association. She was an active alumna, serving on the Mills College Board of Trustees from 1952–1962. She was also a founding member of Cyrus and Susan Mills Society and a major donor to Mills College. She was interested in international student exchange programs and wrote, “Friendships are more powerful than the most powerful bomb!” She is survived by her three children and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Ruth Palmer Gist, ’22, by Marie Whaley Felecia “Flea” Anhalt Graham, ’49, by Donald Graham Elaine Johnson Gutleben, ’44, by Priscilla “Penny” Patch Johnson, ’44, and Jean Brown Prael, ’59 Donna Stockbridge Haire, ’55, by Diane Smith Janusch, ’55 Jean Foster Hargrove, ’29, by Mary Anne Yacovetta Elizabeth “Betsy” Rulison Harrington, ’40, by Helen Smith Rebecca Whitemarsh Herbert, ’47, by G. Arthur Herbert Flora Foley Hughes by Robert Hughes Ralphie and Coco Kay by Linda Kay, ’73 C. Rodgers Kines by Diane Smith Janusch, ’55 Charles Larsen by Chester Leper, Barbara Bundschu, ’38, James Graham, Elizabeth Griego, Jane Cudlip King, ’42, J. Roussel Sargent, Bette Krause Spagel, ’63, Karen Cardon Swearingen, ’63, William and Margaret “Marge” Miskelly Thomas, MA ’67, Laurie Sachs Travers, ’71, Louise Viehmann, Judith “Judy” Salzer Warner, ’63, Reynold Wik, and Laurie Zimet Marilyn Lee, ’73, by Betty Chu Wo, ’46 Jean Turner Macduff, ’33, by Alice London Bishop, ’58, Kathryn “Kay” Thrift Files, ’33, and Judith “Judy” Salzer Warner, ’63 Eleanor Macrell by Caroline Gwerder and Alice Goodwin Lenz, ’52 Eloise Randleman McCain, ’57, by Leonard McCain Leonard McPherson by Penny Peak, ’82, and Sally Randel Andrew Meyer by Nancy Meyer Neal, ’70 Esther Lee Mirmow by Bronnie Tuchman Blaugrund, ’64, Anita Aragon Bowers, ’63, Barbara Bundschu, ’38, Mary Schratter Hale, ’82, and Diane Knutson, ’73 Joseph Moore, Jr. by Ann Witter Elizabeth Schohr Morton, ’50,


Passages by Louis Morton Marjorie Orgel by Barbara Hunter, ’57 Constance Carter Orton, ’56, by Barbara Parsons Sheldon, ’56 Robbyn Panitch, ’79, by Betsey Shack Goodwin, ’76 Olga and James Pedersen by Ann Carlson, ’80 Margaret “Meg” Quigley, ’63, by Marilyn Schuster, ’65 James Randall by Barbara Manning Graham, ’61 Joseph Rensch by Jacquelyn Jagger Parsons, ’52 Miriam Van Vorhis Reynier, ’37, by Sharon Bramkamp Hohmann, ’56 Constance Cook Ruch, ’78, by Diana Birtwistle Odermatt, ’60, and Marion Ross, ’44 Irene Wood Schulte, ’39, by Roger Schulte Robert Spragins by Mary-Lee “Lippy” Lipscomb Reade, ’41 Jacqueline Schmit Stevenson, ’49, by Gladys Aronson Fortmiller, ’49 Lisa Taubman, ME ’53, by Martha Buchanan Billman, ME ’52 Ruth Turner by Wilson Turner Hugh Wass by Warren Wass Margaret “Margo” Witte Wellman, ’39, by Alonzo Wellman Claire Fox Wolpe, ’30, by Florence Fox Rubenstein, ’38, and Ann Zerin, ’64

Ralph DuCasse Professor Emeritus of Art Ralph S. DuCasse died on December 12, 2003. “He was a much beloved teacher of many outstanding artists,” wrote Provost Mary Ann Milford. Born in Paducah, Kentucky, in 1916, Mr. DuCasse earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati, an MA from U.C. Berkeley, and an MFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts. He also studied with Hans Hofmann in New York. Mr. DuCasse came to Mills in 1958 and taught painting and drawing at Mills for 23 years. He served as chair of the art department for 12 years. Viewed as one of the West’s leading painters, he developed a highly personalized style celebrating shape and color. (His “Assemblage” is reproduced on the inside front cover of this magazine.) Widely exhibited in both solo and group shows, his career was highlighted by a 20-year retrospective of his work at the M.H. de Young Museum in San Francisco in 1967 and a 30-year retrospective at Mills College in 1977. When Professor DuCasse retired in 1981, Mills alumnae established the Ralph DuCasse Scholarship as an enduring tribute to him. This merit award is given each year to a talented junior or senior in the field of drawing and painting. “His influence was indelible and profound. He stimulated an enormous amount of artistic energy,” said his former student Cynthia Beeman, ’65. “Ralph DuCasse nurtured and trained us,” said Carla Trefethen Saunders, ’62. “He gave to us his love for art. He became part of our lives.” Ralph DuCasse is survived by Tom Roberts, his companion and partner, as well as one of his daughters and grandchildren, among whom is Bruce McCreary, coordinator of computing and network services at Mills.

Ann Katherine Baerwald Lenway, ’43 Mrs. Lenway was a noted philanthropist and community leader. She was the daughter of a German industrialist and grew up in pre-World War II Japan. She was admitted to the United States under a quota for Asian-born Caucasians. At Mills she studied with Dean Rusk. During World War II, she became active in helping relocate Japanese American students from internment camps to colleges in the East and Midwest at a time when few in this country were attempting to aid Americans of Japanese descent. She earned a master’s degree in social work from U.C. Berkeley and became a psychiatric social worker. She was active in the Democratic Party and attended the inauguration of President Kennedy as well as the party’s 1964 convention. She supported Planned Parenthood, was the president of the board of the Early Childhood Mental Health Program, and was on the board of the New Israel Fund. Mrs. Lenway is survived by her brother, three daughters, and four grandchildren.

Charles Larsen Professor Emeritus Charles Larsen died at home on December 21, 2003. Associate Provost Marianne Sheldon called him a “devoted teacher, distinguished scholar, and insightful writer and commentator who served the Mills community for over 36 years.” Dr. Larsen earned BA and MA degrees from U.C. Berkeley and a PhD in constitutional history from Columbia University. He came to Mills in 1957 after teaching at Rutgers University for ten years. He taught history and government at Mills until he retired in 1993. His special fields of interest were the American constitution and social and political history. Dr. Larsen received a number of awards, including a Fulbright grant to study Chinese civilization and a Danforth grant to investigate methods of teaching international relations. He held the May Treat Morrison Chair in American history and served as dean of the faculty from 1980 to 1983. He was the author of The Good Fight: The Life and Times of Ben B. Lindsey, a biography of the American judge, international authority on juvenile delinquency, and advocate for the juvenile court system. “I was in awe of the vast knowledge imparted by him,” wrote Grace Dote, ’63, in the July 1993 Mills Quarterly, which announced Dr. Larsen’s retirement. “Charles was a kind, strong, generous, and witty human being, devoted to a life of learning and teaching,” wrote Dr. Sheldon. “He was also a beloved member of the Mills community. His wisdom, humor, and zest for life will be greatly missed.” Dr. Larsen is survived by his wife, Grace, and their two sons.

M I L L S Q U A R T E R LY S P R I N G 2 0 0 4

25


REUNION “Before high-piled books in charactery hold like rich garners the full-ripened grain…”

W

hy the quote above? Easy! It’s time to invite not only the celebrating classes ending in 4 and 9 but all alumnae and alumni to Reunion 2004. Place: Mills College. Date: September 9 through 12. Purpose: To get together and have fun, remembering our years together as classmates and our years on campus. And the quote above? This year we are featuring poets and creative writers in the now-famous Celebration of the Arts. (If you just can’t remember the author, here’s a hint: “Byron and Shelley and Keats…were a trio of lyrical treats,” to quote Dorothy Parker.) One day in June in your mailbox you’ll find the Reunion flyer with full details. Meanwhile, here’s early news. You will see, and more importantly hear, the Campanil with its restored bells and with new landscaping. You will find the old Infirmary, later the Children’s School, in its new incarnation as the Vera M. Long Building for the Social Sciences. You will discover the freshwomen inhabiting Olney; and if you

haven’t seen them already, you’ll be able to view the new Children’s School, the MBA students housed in Reinhardt Hall, and there’ll be the changeover of Alderwood to the Julia Morgan School for Girls, which is not Mills-related except for being on our campus. As for the Reunion program, you are invited to march in the academic procession to Convocation, stroll the campus and hear the State of the College address Saturday morning, have a picnic along with the taking of class pictures, and do the four wonderful events of the Celebration of the Arts in the afternoon. Saturday night is devoted to off-campus class dinners, with the Golden Girls, the Class of 1954, as guests of honor on campus. Sunday closes Reunion with a chapel service. So, there’s something for everyone, and much for many. Do come! Keeping in touch with classmates and friends enriches our lives. The Reunion Committee looks forward to greeting you at the Reinhardt Alumnae House door.

C A L E N D A R TUESDAY, APRIL 27 8:00 PM Concert Series: Alvin Curran May Day Concert. Concert Hall (510) 430-2296 FRIDAY, APRIL 30– SUNDAY, MAY 30 MFA Exhibition Mills College Art Museum Reception: Sunday, May 2, 2:00–4:00 PM (510) 430-2164 SATURDAY, MAY 15 9:45 AM 116th Commencement Toyon Meadow Meet at Reinhardt House

26

M I L L S Q U A R T E R LY S P R I N G 2 0 0 4

at 8:30 AM to don robes and march with your fellow alumnae. (510) 430-2110 SATURDAY, MAY 15 2:00 PM AAMC Annual Meeting Reinhardt Alumnae House (510) 430-2110 SATURDAY, MAY 22 11:00 AM–2:00 PM Santa Barbara/Ventura Mills Alumnae Branch Fundraising Event co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Mills College Alumnae

Presentation by Kathleen Walkup, Associate Professor of Book Arts: “Twenty Years of Book Arts at Mills College,” Lunch included. Sycamore Hall, Santa Barbara Women’s Club, 670 Mission Canyon Road, Santa Barbara. Tickets: In advance, $40 per person. At the door, $55 per person. For tickets call or email Consuelo Underwood Marshall, ’72, president, Santa Barbara/Ventura Mills Alumnae Branch, at (805) 648-4563 or <ciunder@yahoo.com>.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 9– SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 Reunion 2004 (510) 430-2111 FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 10 Convocation (510) 430-2111 You can find fine arts events on the Mills College website by going to <www.mills. edu> and choosing “Fine Arts Events Calendar” under “Events at Mills.” Events are subject to change. Please call ahead to verify times, dates, and locations.


TEMPLES & WATERWAYS OF VIETNAM & CAMBODIA TEMPLES & WATERWAYS OF VIETNAM & CAMBODIA November 2 - 20, 2004

V

ietnam and Cambodia evoke images of imperial dynasties, spectacular Buddhist and Hindu temples, and cultivated landscapes dotted with verdant rice fields. Join us as we explore the bustling urban areas and off-the-beaten-track places in two of Indochina’s most intriguing countries. HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS SPECIAL PROGRAM INCLUDE:

• • • • • • • •

Special lectures on Vietnam led by knowledgeable lecturers Hanoi, Vietnam’s elegant French-era capital A cruise on spectacular Halong Bay, one of nature’s finest creations The cultural, religious and education center of Hue Hoi An, a well-preserved traditional Asian fishing port The extensive Cham ruins of My Son A boat trip on the Mekong River to experience daily life on the water Cambodia’s majestic Angkor temple complex, including the legendary masterpiece Angkor Wat Program cost: $4,195 per person double occupancy, including all flights within Southeast Asia. For more information, call the AAMC at (510) 430-2110 or email aamc@mills.edu

Mills Trips 2004 Alaska Inland Passage on the Yorktown Clipper May 29–June 5 A naturalist and historian will be on board to speak on each day’s events. Many optional excursions. Informal venue. 8 days, $2,250 plus air. A Tale of Two Cities June 4–13 This trip recognizes the request of many for more independence in travel while enjoying the cost effectiveness and comfort of the group. Four days in London, and four days in Paris. $1,310 plus air. Go to <www.orionworldwidetravel.com/ mills/index/htm> for details and registration. York, England July 31–August 8 A North England multigenerational trip to explore the heart of York and Nottingham. $2,995 child, $3,995 adult, plus air. Journey of the Czars: Exploring the Waterways of Russia August 11–24 Three days each in St. Petersburg and Moscow with a cruise along the Volga, Svir, and Neva Rivers. $1,595 plus air.

Alumni College in Kilkenny, Ireland September 15–22 A town famous for its strong artistic expression as well as its stately castle and cathedral. $1,795 land only, $2,495 including air. New England October 19–27 Small museums in New England while fall foliage is in full color. Stephan Jost, Director of the Mills Art Museum, will accompany the tour. $2,917 plus air. The Temples and Waterways of Vietnam and Cambodia November 2–20, 2004 Major cities of both countries and several “off the beaten track” places. $4,195 plus air from San Francisco. If you would like additional information on any of these trips, please call the AAMC at (510) 430-2110; email us at <aamc@mills.edu>; or write us at Reinhardt Alumnae House, P.O. Box 9998, Oakland, CA 94613.


Left: William Winant, MFA â&#x20AC;&#x2122;82, with a metalaphone built by William Colvig and painted by Lou Harrison. Below: Various drums from the Lou Harrison collection. For an article on these instruments and the experimentalist tradition in music at Mills, please see page 10.

Alumnae Association of Mills College Reinhardt Alumnae House Mills College PO Box 9998 Oakland, CA 94613-0998 (510) 430-2110 aamc@mills.edu www.mills.edu

PERIODICALS POSTAGE PAID AT OAKLAND, CA AND AT ADDITIONAL MAILING OFFICE(S)

ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED

Printed on recycled paper with soy-based inks.

PEG SKORPINSKI

PEG SKORPINSKI

Mills Quarterly


Mills Quarterly spring 2004