Mills Quarterly, Winter 2019

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Mills Quarterly Winter 2019


can’t wait to talk to YOU. Clockwise from left: Jada ’22: Computer Science Alana ’21: History Melika ’21: History; Art History Leslie ’22: Pre-Nursing Mariyam ’22: Biology Grace ’21: Psychology; Public Health and Health Equity

Get ready for a great conversation! Just pick up the phone when a student calls you this spring. Our callers would love to speak to you and deliver the latest news from campus, hear your stories and wisdom, update your record, and invite you to contribute to the Mills College Annual Fund. Through your contribution— and your conversation—you can demonstrate the value that a Mills education has for you while enabling current and future students to benefit from one as well.

To make a gift today to the Mills College Annual Fund, you can call 510.430.2366, visit, or return the enclosed envelope.




Mills Quarterly


Winter 2019

8 Lisser Hall’s 21st-Century Encore by Sarah Stevenson, MFA ’04 A complete overhaul helps the historic building better feature the creative work of today’s students with support from philanthropists Ellen and Glenn Voyles.

15 Strengthening the Neighborhood by Allison Rost LAMMPS, the project otherwise known as Laurel Access to Mills, Maxwell Park, and Seminary, is transforming the area around campus.

19 The 2018 Alumnae Awards by Kate Robinson Beckwith, MFA ’13 Profiles of three Mills graduates who were honored at Reunion for their work giving back to the community. Plus, class photos.

32 The Art of Giving by Sara Wintz ’07 Two alumnae use their creative gifts, marketing savvy, and network of Mills artists to raise funds for a new scholarship.

Departments 2

Letters to the Editor


President’s Message


Mills Matters

18 AAMC News 25 Class Notes 30 In Memoriam

On the cover: New telescoping seats in Lisser Hall promise an optimum viewing experience no matter where you’re sitting. Read about the surprises and challenges of upgrading this special structure on page 8. Photo by Teresa Tam.

Letters to the Editor I’ll bet you dollars to proverbial donuts that I am not the only Mills alum who was horrified to see marijuana on your fall 2018 cover. Volume CVIII, Number 2 (USPS 349-900) Winter 2019 President Elizabeth L. Hillman

In the 1960s and ’70s, many of us flower children were stoned almost all the time. And years later, we discovered that our motivational capability, circumspection, and general common sense

Vice President for Institutional Advancement Jeff Jackanicz

have been impaired. Intelligent and well much. Not fully formed in our formative

Don’t be surprised if many a well-

Senior Director of the Annual Fund and Alumnae Relations Nikole Hilgeman Adams

years. Today, having previously solved

heeled Mills alum in my baby-boomer

every problem with a joint, we find we

generation, and especially those before

are left with an addictive impulse to

us who are now in their mid-70s or older,

reach for substances as solutions.

stop sending money to Mills because of

Managing Editor Allison Rost

educated, yes. But fully focused, not so

Even back then, pot was mind-alter-

Interim Editor Dawn Cunningham ’85

ing. But today? Try sharing the freeway

Design and Art Direction Nancy Siller Wilson

on one hit of today’s potent pot. Beware

Contributing Writers Dawn Cunningham ’85 Kate Robinson Beckwith, MFA ’13 Sarah Stevenson, MFA ’04 Sara Wintz ’07 The Mills Quarterly (USPS 349-900) is published quarterly by Mills College, 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA 94613. Periodicals postage paid at Oakland, California, and at additional mailing office(s). Postmaster: Send address changes to the Office of Institutional Advancement, Mills College, 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA 94613. Copyright © 2019, Mills College Address correspondence to Mills Quarterly, Mills College, 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA 94613. Email: Phone: 510.430.3312 Printed on recycled paper containing 10 percent post-consumer waste.

(Please use outline)

with somebody stoned out of their mind

dulls and damages it. —Rita S. Losch, MFA ’95 Santa Rosa, California

young parents pushing their babies in strollers, forgetting to look both ways at crosswalks while weaving and giggling

Delighted to see the Quarterly taking a

at that which is not funny. It is one thing

bold step in what I believe is the right

to sip a glass of wine with dinner—it is


quite something else to smoke or chew

As a child of the ’40s and ’50s, I grew

or drink THC and end up completely

up without a thought about cannabis. In

untethered from the planet.

the ’60s and ’70s, I believed marijuana

Many drug experimenters in my gen-

was something “other people” did. Pipes

eration are either clean and sober, or

or paper roll-ups of weed were passed

dead. It turns out that our mothers were

during the ’80s and ’90s—in some circles

right: marijuana is so often a gateway to

anyway. I know my kids tried it, but I did

harder drugs.

not. One puff made me cough.

Your marijuana article frames pot

I learned to meditate in 1973 and it

cultivation and sale as a respectable

became my high. I was so relaxed that

business. Using euphemisms like “recre-

I didn’t need speed nor anti-depressants

ational,” “high,” “vape pens,” “marijuana

to soothe me. Now that I am older and

activism,” “testing products for potency,”

living in a “legal” state, I am learn-

“wine and weed industry,” “giving back

ing and enjoying the medical benefits.

to society,” or “California’s love of arti-

Applause to Dawn Cunningham for her

sanal goods,” your article tries to legiti-

good investigative journalism and edu-

mize cannabis as if it were merely a

cated presentation of a very complicated

beer-brewing sort of hobby. And claim-

industry. I am thrilled Mills is growing

ing that criminalized populations would

in this direction.

shops seems all wrong. M I L L S Q U A R T E R LY

College sharpens the mind. Marijuana

of completely absent legal-pot smoking

be especially interested in opening pot


this anti-academic support of pot.

—Suzann Panek Robins ’85 Coos Bay, Oregon

A Message from the President of Mills College

Lisser Hall opens doors to performing arts center By Beth Hillman Last summer, the College’s vice presi-

Mills students. Wetmore Lodge was

dents, provost, and I worked together

converted to a chapel in 1933, Wetmore

to set and share goals for the 2018-

Gate was closed but for occasional use

2019 academic year. Among my fore-

by the mid-1950’s, and the pool gave way

most goals is to initiate a plan for Mills’

to a larger facility after decades of use.

long-term financial security, even as we

The re-opening of the now-fabulous

address short-term financial challenges

Lisser Hall is the latest case in point. If

and seize current opportunities. That

you haven’t had a chance to visit the

plan must involve not only balancing

new Lisser yet, you can read more about

our operational budget and capitalizing

it in this issue of the Mills Quarterly. Its

on Mills’ many academic strengths, but

grand re-opening took place at Reunion

also fully utilizing our campus to achieve

2018, with an inaugural event honoring

environmental and economic sustain-

the Class of 1968, which earmarked a

ability. With the support of generous

record-breaking class gift for the reno-

donors, we have secured the services of


U3 Advisors, a superb campus planning

The many donors who made the Lisser

firm, to help us assess the potential of

Hall renovation possible have also given

our beautiful and historic campus. U3

Mills a chance to renew our program-

will analyze our buildings and grounds,

ming in the performing arts by creating

and the communities around us, to iden-

space and synergies that didn’t previ-

tify ways our physical plant can best

ously exist. Four venues—Jeannik Méquet

support inclusive excellence, affordabil-

Littlefield Concert Hall, Rothwell Theater,

ity and accessibility, global learning and

and Lisser Hall’s Marilyn MacArthur

real-world skills, and gender and racial



create stronger partnerships and more

justice. These are the pillars of MillsNext,

Digital Performance Theater—will now

opportunities for students, including

the blueprint we developed in 2017 for

serve one integrated mission: providing

those interested in technical theater

transforming the College to better meet



practices. Mills’ partners this academic

students’ needs and address financial

spaces that enhance Mills’ visibility and

year include San Francisco’s premier

challenges. We’re excited by the poten-

promote cultural equity. Our provost

nonprofit theater company, American

tial of bringing new energy, revenues,

and faculty have collaborated to create a


and ideas to our educational mission.

performing arts center comprising these

our theater majors take many of their

Campus change is not new to Mills.

four venues under new Performing Arts

required courses; the Ubuntu Theater

As Oakland grew up around us, our

Facilities Director Alex Zendzian, who is

Project, whose artists create “compelling

campus adapted by turning buildings

also building an advisory council of local

works that unearth the human condition

around, constructing new facilities, and

leaders in arts and culture. This new per-

and unite diverse audiences through

even moving entrances. In 1925, Mills

forming arts center will leverage Mills’

revelatory, heart-pounding theater”; and

trustee Clarence J. Wetmore donated

strengths in the arts to bring more artists

Dimensions Dance Theater in Oakland,

$10,000 for the construction of Wetmore

and performances to Mills, attract mem-

recognized for its diversity and inclusiv-

Gate, Wetmore Lodge, and Wetmore

bers of the public to enjoy performances,

ity and “presentations of both traditional

Pool in honor of his wife, Mary Camden

and offer our students further ways to

dances and contemporary choreography

Wetmore, Class of 1880, whose sister,

engage directly with leading artists.

drawn from African, jazz, and modern






Grace Richards, also made a donation.

This work also includes a strong

dance idioms.” Stay tuned as Mills ben-

All three projects served essential pur-

focus on our immediate community. By

efits from these partnerships and seeks

poses and were later adapted or removed

building bridges to arts organizations

others that will sustain us into the cen-

to accommodate new generations of

in Oakland and the Bay Area, Mills can

tury ahead. WINTER 2019


Mills Matters Google brings machine learning course to campus “We are delighted to be working with Google on our

Google has chosen Mills College as the first of five institutions of higher learning to host a special free program dedi-

shared goal of increasing and broadening access to data

cated to teaching the basics of machine learning.

science and engineering education, which we believe will

The course, called the Applied Machine Learning Intensive,

benefit not just the participants in the program and their

kicks off on the Mills campus on February 12 and takes the

employers but also society at large, as they ensure that

form of a 10-week boot camp in how to use data science and

machine learning is applied in ways that challenge, rather

machine learning to power technologies such as self-driving

than enforce, existing inequalities,” says Kilgore-Snyder

cars and online marketing algorithms. The program is free,

Professor of Computer Science Ellen Spertus.

including room and board, and was specifically advertised to Mills students and alumnae with backgrounds in computer science, particularly in the Python programming language. Google machine learning engineers will partner with Mills professors to provide instruction. After Mills pilots the program this spring, four additional institutions—Agnes Scott College, Bay Path University, Heidelberg University, and Scripps College—will offer it over the summer. Google developed the course as part of its efforts to build the ranks of qualified job applicants in tech, especially among demographics that are traditionally underrepresented in the field. Kimberley Roberts, MA ’93, is a lead senior program manager in Google’s engineering education division and played a key role in bringing the course to Mills.

Mills welcomes new Quarterly editor Over the course

Based in Reinhardt Alumnae House,

California: she served most recently as

of a century, gen-

Rost oversees the Quarterly and par-

director of communications at Katherine

erations of edi-

ticipates in web-based communications

Delmar Burke School and previously

tors at the Mills

with alumnae, including alumnae.mills

as digital communications manager at

Quarterly have

.edu and email campaigns. She wel-

Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy. Rost

kept alumnae

comes submissions of class notes,

also worked as a journalist in Silicon

connected to the

letters to the editor, and story ideas

Valley and as an editor at several trade

College and each


magazines in Southern California. She

other by gather-

Rost says, “I’m thrilled to become a

received her BA in communication stud-

ing and sharing

part of Mills’ long tradition of elevating

ies from the University of North Carolina

news from cam-

women’s voices. It’s truly an honor to

at Chapel Hill. Mills is delighted to have

pus and from the global Mills commu-

assume responsibility for the Quarterly,

an editor with such deep experience and

nity. In October, the College installed

and I can’t wait to bring to life the sto-

commitment to women’s education at

a new editor to continue this tradition:

ries that make Mills so unique.”

the helm of the Quarterly.

Allison Rost, alumnae communications manager.



Rost witnessed the power of singlegender education at two girls’ schools in

–Nikole Hilgeman Adams, senior director of the annual fund and alumnae relations

Mills College at a glance Student Body 2018–19

Budget and fundraising highlights 2017–2018

Total Enrollment:

Annual budget Total revenue Total expense Endowment value (6/30/18)

1,255 students representing 41 states and 15 countries. Undergraduates


First year

$81.3 million $78.1 million $85.3 million $191.3 million


Transfer 110 Living on campus


Students of color


First-generation 39% Resumers 17% Graduate students


Women 77%

Sources of revenue Tuition & fees...........................................59% Housing, food, & conferences........... 14% Endowment payout 11% Gifts & grants 11% Other 5%

Men 23% Students of color



full time

part time



Female faculty



Faculty of color




Student-to-faculty ratio


Average class size


Sources of gifts Alumnae 18% Estates 39% Foundations & Corporations 14% Trustees 10% Parents, friends, others 19%

College Rankings • U.S. News & World Report ranks Mills as the #3 in Best Value Schools in the West and #7 among Regional Universities in the West. • The Princeton Review includes Mills on their list of Best 384 Colleges and one of

Financial Aid

Camp Fire shutters Mills due to unhealthy air quality

Full-time undergraduate tuition for

As smoke from the Camp Fire in Butte County pushed Air Quality

the 2018–19 academic year is $28,765.

Index readings in Oakland above 200, or into the “very unhealthy”

Approximately 95 percent of under-

category, Mills canceled classes for students from Thursday,

graduate students receive financial aid;

November 15, through the Thanksgiving holiday.

the Best Green Colleges in the country.

92 percent receive some portion of their aid

The Camp Fire, which broke out near the town of Paradise

directly from Mills. This year, $20.6 million

on November 8, quickly became the most destructive wildfire

in total aid will be awarded to under-

in California history. Smoke from the fire was funneled into the

graduates, of which $9.7 million is funded

Bay Area and settled in the skies for days.

by Mills. The average award is $28,706. Graduate tuition starts at $34,150. Eighty-seven percent of graduate students received financial aid totaling $9.3 million. Mills funded $2.3 million of this amount. WINTER 2019


Calendar A Life of Activism and Art: In Conversation with Wes Studi January 30  7:00 pm–8:30 pm, Lisser Hall Join a conversation about Native American activism in the arts with Wes Studi, the Cherokee film actor known for his performance in The Last of the Mohicans and more than 80 other films. For more information, please visit or call 510.430.2110. Organized by AAMC Governor Alexa Pagonas ’91 in cooperation with Mills College.

Mills Music Now Concerts February 2  Zeena Parkins: Harp Benefit Concert Parkins brings her own contemporary style to the electric harp. February 16  David Behrman A concert from the electronic music pioneer and Jean Macduff Composer-in-Residence. March 7–10  Signal Flow Festival The annual festival of work by Mills graduate students. March 7–9 at 8:00 pm, March 10 at 4:00 pm. All events start at 8:00 pm in the Littlefield Concert Hall (unless otherwise noted). $15 general, $10 to alumnae, seniors, and non-Mills students. See for updated listings.

Mills College Art Museum María Elena González: Tree Talk January 23-March 17 Opening reception  January 26, 5:00 pm–7:00 pm Tree Talk is the culmination of more than 10 years of work by internationally recognized Brooklyn- and Bay Area-based artist María Elena González. Exploring the translation between the physical and the acoustical, Tree Talk investigates the unexpected visual parallels between the bark of birch trees and cylindrical player piano rolls. The museum is open 11:00 am–4:00 pm Tuesday through Sunday and until 7:30 pm Wednesday. Admission is free. Visit for more information.

Artist Lectures February 1  Luke Butler Butler, a painter, examines the pervasiveness of popular culture through his works, which evoke familiar scenes from film and television such as Star Trek. How do our common afflictions appear through those lenses? March 13  Lilly McElroy McElroy turns her camera (and as a performance artist, herself) toward the concept of sacred spaces and how they stand up under the scrutiny of a feminist perspective. Her series of works includes “I Throw Myself at Men” and “California’s Fill of Whisky, Women, and Gold.” March 20  Torreya Cumming A multimedia artist who brings together photography, sculpture, performance, and video, Cumming explores a range of topics from the interaction of history and fiction to Western life. All events are free and take place at 7:00 pm in Danforth Lecture Hall at Jane B. Aron Art Center. 6


María Elena González, Camo (Boogie Woogie), 2015, silkscreen

Campus kudos A selection of recent achievements by faculty, staff, and students Professor Emeritus of History Bert Gordon’s book, War Tourism, was published by Cornell University Press in the fall. The tome explores the phenomenon of memory tourism in the aftermath of World War II, specifically among German personnel and French civilians. The practice has transformed sites such as the Maginot Line fortresses. Dean of Digital Learning and

Bert Gordon

Ajuan Mance

The Mills Community Farm has

Priya Shimpi Driscoll

Jenn Smith

Priya Shimpi Driscoll, associate

Innovation and Professor of English

been awarded a $5,000 grant from the

professor of education and director

Ajuan Mance published an article titled

Bayer Feed A Bee initiative to purchase

of early childhood education, was

“Black Twitter is Laughing Racism to

and cultivate the native forage neces-

extensively quoted in a September

Death” to great acclaim on the blogging

sary to increase bees’ habitats on cam-

2018 story on about

platform Medium. Widely shared on

pus. Bees and the vital services they

the best and worst places in the

Twitter, the article contextualized the

provide to ecosystems around the world

United States for raising a family.

practice calling out instances of racism

are threatened due to climate change.

Associate Professor of Biology

as part of a larger African American

“We are excited to model bee-friendly

Jenn Smith, along with Mills stu-

cultural tradition of reframing domi-

farming here at the Mills Community

dents Chelsea Ortiz ’17 and Madison

nant messages. One popular section

Farm, promoting sustainable agricul-

T. Buhbe ’19 and collaborator Mark

of the piece concludes, “… when Black

tural practices that improve pollinator

van Vugt, published a peer-reviewed

people enter and hold space, things will

health,” Farm Manager Julia Dashe

work on female leadership among

not be the same as they were before,

says. “This grant will impact awareness

mammals in the social-science

whether on Twitter, in elite tennis, in

of pollinator health by bringing Mills

journal The Leadership Quarterly. It

Division I gymnastics, in the NFL, or

students together with students from

was also featured in a BBC news story

anywhere else Blackness has either

neighborhood schools as well as mem-

and in articles in New Scientist and

been excluded or regulated.”

bers of the community.”

Psychology Today.

Come back to Mills as an auditor— with help from the AAMC! Get a $500 stipend to audit a class this spring. Exclusively for Mills alumnae, the stipend reduces the cost of auditing to $250 (the full fee is $750). You can audit just about any course provided the instructor approves your application. As an auditor, you attend class regularly, but are not graded and do not receive credit. Application deadline for spring semester: January 29, 2019. Applications must include the instructor’s signature. Learn more and get the application form at, or contact the AAMC at or 510.430.2110.




LISSER HALL S 21st-Century Encore


By Sarah J. Stevenson, MFA ,04


formances of Marian Van Tuyl to the modernist music of John Cage, Lisser’s venerable stage has hosted more than a century’s worth of artistic innovators. “It’s in the bones here,” says Ann Murphy, head of the Dance Program and part of the planning team for the renovation, which was completed in September 2018. The new 21st-century Lisser promises to reinvigorate the groundbreaking role of the arts at Mills, preserving the building’s history while also giving it some long-overdue upgrades. Everyone involved in the project hails the interdisciplinary and collaborative potential of the renovation, which includes a modernized auditorium, state-of-the-art technological innovations, a more spacious lobby area, and a brand-new outdoor terrace overlooking Leona Creek. The “Mills triangle” at the center of campus, formed by Lisser, F.W. Olin Library, and Rothwell Center, will once again be a vibrant, active nexus for students and visitors alike. In just the last few months, there’s already been an infusion of new energy and a sense of excitement. Like any major production, though, the final show is just the part the audience sees; much of the hard work happens backstage, and that was true of this project as well.

Behind the Scenes The story of Lisser Hall dates back to the turn of the 20th century, when the first incarnation of the building was named in honor of Louis Lisser, first head of the Music Department. Over the decades, the bustling and versatile space was used for music, dance, and theater performances, as well as receptions, meetings, and commencements. When automobiles became widespread in California, the front of the


to revitalize a building,

especially one with such a prominent history as Lisser Hall. From the experimental dance per-



campus was moved from Wetmore Gate on Seminary Avenue to Richards Gate on MacArthur Boulevard, prompting massive structural changes to Lisser Hall in the late 1920s. Architect

If ever there was a campus building in need of staging a comeback, it was Lisser Hall.

Walter Ratcliff rotated the interior orientation of the audito-

Mounting the Production

rium 180 degrees so the stage moved to the location of the

Achieving the complex and ambitious vision for Lisser wasn’t

original entrance at the building’s south end. He also trans-

easy. Beginning with the design stage in early 2016, the plan

formed the original stage area into a lobby accessed through

for Lisser’s transformation involved a lot of moving parts, not to

a new raised entry portico on the north side. In the 1970s,

mention legions of people. For instance, the dance and theater

another set of upgrades enlarged the lobby and added a small

programs needed a performance space for use while Lisser was

studio theater upstairs.

out of service, so the former bookstore in Rothwell Center was

By the time the most recent overhaul was proposed in the

turned into a black-box theater.

College’s 2013–18 Strategic Plan, championed by past president

Construction work, which began in June 2017, ran into more

Alecia DeCoudreaux, it had been nearly 50 years since the last

than one unanticipated setback. Karen Fiene, director of con-

major renovation, and Lisser was showing its age. Although it

struction compliance and sustainability for the Mills campus,

provided a home for dance performances—and, beginning in

was one of the principal players; she says that compared to the

2014, for the revived Theater Studies Program—it was plagued

renovation of the Music Building in 2008, Lisser Hall presented

by minor hazards and general neglect. Unused musical equip-

a unique set of challenges.

ment filled the storage rooms. Perhaps most surprising, the

“It was like a treasure hunt. It was a surprise every week,”

building had not been seismically retrofitted; it still retained

Fiene says. “None of the surprises were inexpensive.” After

its original brick foundations.

construction began and scaffolding allowed the crew to access

“Dark and dreary. Unsafe. Ghost-filled. It wasn’t something

the ceiling, a structural assessment revealed that the wooden

that drew you,” Murphy says. “The building seemed dead.” The

trusses along the interior ceiling needed reinforcing—a neces-

doors to Lisser Hall were typically kept locked unless it was in

sary seismic upgrade that added three months to the project.

use for a performance. The old auditorium-style seating was

On top of that, there were no blueprints for the original 1901

deteriorating, and the heavy red velvet drapes made the inside

auditorium. “They were lost in the mists of time,” says Jim Graham,

unappealingly gloomy. While still beautiful and historic, Lisser

Lisser’s former technical director and manager and an employee

was underutilized and often overlooked.

of the College since 1972. “We had to create them after the fact.”

The Greek revival-style Lisser Hall (left) faced south toward the Oval when constructed in 1901. A late 1920s remodel gave it a Spanish colonial revival exterior, with the entry portico facing north. The 2018 renovation has preserved the 1920s façade (above). WINTER 2019




Fortunately, Graham—a graduate of the Mills College

Facilities Department. Meanwhile, Presidents DeCoudreaux

Children’s School and the son of former dance professor

and Beth Hillman, fundraisers in the Office of Institutional

Eleanor Lauer, MA ’40—knew the building inside and out. “He

Advancement, and the trustees who served on the Lisser Hall

knew where all the bodies were hidden,” Fiene says.

Campaign Cabinet worked in coordination with the renovation

“Every person involved added something to the project,”

team to raise $10.8 million for the project, exceeding their origi-

she remarks, from the outside architects and engineers—ELS

nal goal. Fiene also credits the contractor, Oliver and Company,

Architects and Ansari Engineers, respectively—to the in-house

for its flexibility and expertise in dealing with the unexpected.

team, which included a wide range of professors of theater,

Between the wide array of stakeholders and the many sur-

music, art, and dance, as well as employees from the Campus

prises along the way, the project was a challenge from the getgo, but Murphy describes the overall process as “collaborative

The renovation of Lisser Hall equipped the Marilyn McArthur Holland Performance Theater with telescoping rows of seating (top left), a redesigned lighting system, and reinforced the catwalks above the auditorium (top right). A gift from the Class of 1968 funded the theater’s new light and sound booth (below).

and respectful.” The plans remained centered on the needs of the arts programs, striking a balance between economy and need. “I thought that expressed something so optimistic about Mills,” she says, “because it was a big project and a lot was on the line.” It was an astounding group effort. As Fiene puts it, “It takes a village.”

Center Stage Walking into the new Lisser Hall feels different today than it did just two years ago, beginning with the very first step across the threshold. The new lobby is modern, light, and airy, with a maple floor. It’s larger than its predecessor, and it includes a new elevator, a ticket booth, and renovated restrooms. “We made a conscious effort to have it be a contemporary space,” Fiene says. “There wasn’t much of the historic detail left anyway, and we had to basically gut it in order to rebuild the structural components.” On the advice of Stephanie Hanor, director of the Mills College Art Museum, the renovation team decided to 10



Lisser Hall renovation donors The College gratefully acknowledges the following supporters for their generous gifts (as of December 1, 2018) to the renovation of Lisser Hall:

$3,000,000 and above Richard and Marilyn McArthur   Holland ’45

$1,000,000 – $2,999,999 Ellen* and Glenn Voyles* Wayne and Gladys Valley   Foundation Joan Lewis Danforth ’53

$500,000 – $999,999 Wendyce Hull Brody ’68* Richard* and Elaine Barrett, P ’93 Class of 1968

$100,000 – $499,999 Kathleen Sanborn ’83* and   Barbara Wright Alecia A. DeCoudreaux,     President Emerita* Mary Metz, President Emerita,*   and Gene Metz Maribelle and Stephen Leavitt Ann Sulzberger Wolff ’42 William and Linda Pitts Custard ’60 John Kinkead and Cary Kinkead The William and Flora Hewlett   Foundation Louis L. Borick Foundation Linda Borick, MA ’74, and William   Davidson James and Mayhill Fowler Morton and Amy Rothschild   Friedkin ’68

Alexandra Orgel Moses ’64* Enid Busser Roselyne Chroman Swig, P ’80

$50,000 – $99,999 Kathleen Burke and Ralph Davis Kathryn Henkens Mayall ’80 Carol Davis, MFA ’12, and Joel   Marcus, MD

$25,000 – $49,999 Fraser and Helen Drake   Muirhead ’58* Elizabeth Parker ’85* and Keith   Crow Mei Kwong ’70 and Laurence   Franklin Masayuki and Anne Marie   Mersereau Kodama ’91 Candace Pelissero ’68 Michele Van Blitter-Kirsch ’83 Anonymous Donor

Leslie J. Decker and Stephen   T. Rimmer Diane Caleson Merchant ’58 Joanne Arburua Dow ’68 Katharine Chalmers Kewley ’65   and Wayne T. Lyons President Elizabeth L. Hillman   and Trish Culbert

$10,000 – $24,999 Irene Panagopoulos ’85 Katherine Schapiro Melissa Stevenson Diaz ’91 Burnett and Mimi Glide Miller ’50 Caroline C. Herrick ’68 Anna Wilkins Henderson ’81 Linda Cohen Turner ’68 Alex and Cherlene Wright ’92 Maryett and Bob Thompson Gayle Rothrock ’68


* Indicates a member of the Lisser Hall Campaign Cabinet


Overlooking Leona Creek just outside Lisser’s lobby, the new Creekside Terrace provides an inviting space for receptions and other special events.




The grand reopening of Lisser Hall on September 28 featured a student dance performance that made use of the new sprung floor in front of the stage.

make the simple open lobby into a multipurpose area, available

opens out from the lobby and overlooks the creek, integrating

for receptions, rentals, or art exhibits.

the building into the heart of the campus.

In comparison to the modern lobby, the Marilyn McArthur Holland ’45 Performance Theater—named in honor of the

Rave Reviews

Holland family, who directed a generous bequest to the reno-

So far, the response to the newly reopened Lisser Hall has been

vation project—is a seamless blend of old and new. “Most of the

stellar, and the building is already a hub of activity. During

work we did is hidden,” Fiene says. Special care was taken to

Reunion in September, Lisser hosted an inaugural presentation

keep the main auditorium virtually intact in appearance while

for alumnae and donors, complete with speakers, dancers, and

adding much-needed features such as a sprung floor for danc-

an outdoor reception on the brand-new terrace. The very first

ers, telescoping rows of seating for different types of produc-

public event, held on November 7, was a lecture and perfor-

tions and better sight lines, and a system of electric shades for

mance by composer Meredith Monk, and Mills College’s own

the windows—one blackout, one sunshade—that can be sepa-

Repertory Dance Company held its first recital in the new audi-

rately toggled and hidden in the upper valance at the push of a

torium in December.

button. “We were able to restore what I think was the original light quality in the building,” she adds. Graham, meanwhile, says he’s most excited about upgrades to the sound and lighting. The redesign of the lighting sys-

“Our dancers are really excited to be able to dance there,” Murphy says. “Everybody’s pretty dazzled, because there’s no unnecessary stuff, it’s just peeled back to the beautiful bones, which have been preserved.”

tem allows for more options on stage, and the state-of-the-art

Victor Talmadge, director of theater studies, says that he’s

Meyer Sound Laboratories system rivals the one in the Music

thrilled about the number of performance spaces available to

Building’s Littlefield Concert Hall. “There’s almost nothing that

students. He adds that there’s huge flexibility in retaining the

isn’t better,” he says. Thanks to the new floor and flexible seats,

smaller, more intimate black-box theater in Rothwell Center

dancers can use the stage or the auditorium floor itself as a

while also having the larger venue available at Lisser Hall.

performance space without risking injury. And, of course, there

“The Theater Studies Program is growing in leaps and

are the improvements to accessibility and seismic safety. “It

bounds,” Talmadge says. “When I started in 2014, we had two

was fascinating to watch them essentially put a steel skeleton

theater majors; now, we have 15.” Access to multiple perfor-

into a building that was already there,” he says.

mance venues and dynamic, up-to-date equipment is a vital

Even the upstairs rooms have been given a face-lift. The

part of maintaining that growth. The program’s first play in

small studio rehearsal theater has turned into a 21st-century

the new Lisser, George Orwell’s Animal Farm, is planned for

digital performance studio, though it still retains the original

the spring, and Talmadge is looking forward to testing out the

proscenium arch from 1901. However, the standout feature of

possibilities of the auditorium.

the new Lisser is a beautiful terrace with a wooden deck that 12


“One of the wonderful things about the space is that it’s


In the expanded lobby, the opening exhibition presented photos and fragments of a 1901 time capsule unearthed during the renovation, its contents beautifully marbled with water damage.

flexible, so it doesn’t have to be a proscenium,” he says. “We could stage a play on the floor if we wanted to.”

Breaking the Fourth Wall

“My hope—everybody’s hope, really—is that Lisser is part of a real move to open the campus to the external world, and have the external world come in more,” Murphy adds. An openness to interdisciplinary collaboration among the

As a mid-sized performance space, Lisser also fulfills a need in

arts, too, will continue to be a hallmark of the new Lisser

the larger community beyond Mills, according to Murphy. It

Hall. “I’m in talks now for our upcoming production in the

has helped the College develop and explore partnerships with

spring to be designed by art students,” Talmadge says. And, of

local organizations, including Dimensions Dance Theater in

course, there’s the multipurpose potential of the lobby, which

Oakland; Dancers’ Group, a Bay Area dance service organiza-

is already in use as an exhibit space. The series of photos cur-

tion with an interest in planning a summer dance festival at

rently on display depicts the contents of a time capsule that

Mills; and Ubuntu Theater Project, an Oakland-based social-

was buried within Lisser’s original 1901 cornerstone.

justice theatre company. “Lisser’s existence is a great selling point,” Talmadge says.

The photos, taken by Fiene, evoke the blending of old and new that Lisser Hall itself embodies. The 1901 time capsule had suffered water damage, and the repeated soaking and drying over the course of a century created tree-ring-like patterns on the surviving contents. The patterns were so compelling that Housing Operations Manager Phaedra Gauci ’05 decided to create scarves printed with images of documents from the capsule (see back cover). A new time capsule has been enclosed within the cornerstone, which has been moved to a safer, more prominent location in Lisser’s walls, near the ramp to the terrace. The building itself is the true time capsule,


though, and thanks to the tireless efforts of all those involved in its revitalization, Lisser Hall and its history will surely play a prominent—and structurally stable—role in the community for decades to come. ◆ WINTER 2019


, Lisser s angel investors: Ellen and Glenn Voyles “Ellen and I have never given a nickel to Mills,” insists Glenn Voyles, who TERESA TA M

co-chaired the Lisser Hall Campaign Cabinet with his wife, Ellen, and Katie Sanborn ’83, chair of the College’s Board of Trustees. Instead, he says, “We’ve invested a lot in Mills.” In fact, the Voyleses have repeatedly stepped forward as benefactors to the College throughout the 22 years Glenn has served as a trustee. They endowed a fellowship for MBA students and a professorship in business education, and they contributed to the building fund for the Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business. In addition, Glenn served as co-chair of the College’s Sesquicentennial Campaign in the early 2000s, helping to raise $131.8 million. A Stanford Graduate School of Business alum-

our investment is a success as Lisser becomes

nus and chartered financial analyst, Glenn navi-

a gathering place students use every day, a real

gated his career toward leadership positions at

community venue for the arts, and a revenue-gen-


erator for the College,” Glenn explains.




including Jurika & Voyles, which he co-founded.

“The arts provide a way to expand your hori-

Clare Springs ’66, an estate attorney with whom

zons and look at the world in a way you hadn’t

his company worked, became chair of the Mills

anticipated. The new Lisser Hall provides another

board in 1996 and invited Glenn to join and help

avenue for the College to provide that experience

manage Mills’ finances.

for people, whether they’re students or community

Although neither he nor Ellen had any connection to Mills, Glenn accepted the invitation. “The

members,” Ellen says. “At the same time, Lisser will bring further positive attention to the College.”

College’s mission of educating women resonated

As co-chairs of the campaign, the couple shared

with me. Women had been horribly discriminated

this message far and wide as they asked other

against in the investment management business,”

donors to join them in supporting the renovation.

he says. “As I started to learn about Mills, I real-

Together with the rest of the campaign commit-

ized this was my chance to do what I could to

tee and former president Alecia DeCoudreaux,

right that wrong.”

they initially aimed to raise $7 million. However,

The duo do not see Mills as a charity: they

as construction costs climbed above the project

expect to get a return on their investments. “The

budget because of unexpected challenges—such

return I want is firm financial footing for Mills,”

as the need to reinforce wooden ceiling trusses

he says. Ellen, who holds an MA in education

and replace major sections of the original brick

from Stanford University, adds, “Mills provides

foundation—their fundraising goal climbed, too.

an atmosphere in which young women can find

The campaign has raised $10.8 million to date,

themselves and the focus of their lives. We’re

and aims to raise roughly $2 million more. Glenn

investing in the future of these women.”

says, “I want to see Lisser completely funded.

Most recently, the Voyleses were major contributors to the Lisser Hall renovation. “We’ll know 14


That’s my highest priority.” –Dawn Cunningham ’85

President Beth Hillman with Ellen and Glenn Voyles, who funded construction of Lisser Hall’s new Creekside Terrace. To join the Voyleses in investing in Lisser, make a gift using the enclosed envelope and indicate that it is for the Lisser Hall renovation, or visit

Strengthening the Neighborhood efore the stretch of Interstate 580 that skates across


Thanks to a $257,000 grant from Caltrans and a $60,000

Mills’ northern border was built in the early 1960s,

match from then-District 4 councilmember Jean Quan, the

MacArthur Boulevard served as the main access road

City of Oakland and the LAMMPS Steering Committee began

between campus and the rest of Oakland. While I-580 is now

the planning process in 2009. With the guidance of neighbors

a bustling freeway that transports students and faculty from

engaged through community forums as well as Nachtigall’s

across the Bay Area to Mills, its construction also had the

thesis, a plan came together to safely boost the flow of all forms

unfortunate result of cleaving a neighborhood in two—and

of transportation along the MacArthur Boulevard corridor, as

separating MacArthur into many disjointed pieces.

well as to make the area greener and more aesthetically pleas-


The LAMMPS project aims to bring those pieces back

ing. Turn to the next page to see more.

together through unify-

“The LAMMPS project

ing the streetscape and

is a wonderful example of

making MacArthur a true

a community-based plan,

local thoroughfare once

developed by Maxwell

again. Short for Laurel


Access to Mills, Maxwell

College, and the City

Park, and Seminary, this

of Oakland, to address








currently underway, with

infrastructure needs to

construction dotting the

improve the area with

landscape around Mills in

multi-use paths, traffic

nearly all directions. And


although the endeavor is

ing, pavement improve-

just coming to fruition,

ments, and landscaping,”

LAMMPS has been in the

says Renee Jadushlever,

works for a number of

vice president for strate-

years—with vital planning

gic partnerships at Mills

input from a Mills alumna.

and a longtime collabo-





rator on the effort. As

MPP ’08, wrote her pub-




lic policy thesis on ways

works projects, it took

to improve the area by

time to secure sufficient



funding, but LAMMPS

sit, pedestrian access, and

officially kicked off in


April 2018 with ground-




infrastructure, as





tions between the Laurel


Business District and the

Boulevard. According to

neighborhoods now south

Pablo Miras, a civil engi-

of I-580. She followed in

neer with the City of





with similar ideas; in 2004, Claire Antonetti, a member of the




ing the physical connec-



Oakland, the estimated time for completion is May of this year.

Maxwell Park Neighborhood Council (MPNC), helped turn

“It is exciting to begin to see our 13 years of research and

the organization’s attention toward making crosswalks along

work in action and the transformational impact of the improved

MacArthur Boulevard safer, as well as beautifying the area.

safety and access, the vibrant link to the Laurel shopping dis-

Mills first became involved with the MPNC to help with those

trict, landscaping, and other improvements,” Jadushlever adds.

efforts soon after. WINTER 2019



I - 58 0



E n t ra

Mi nc e t o

MILLS’ ENTRANCE: The existing configuration at Richards Gate forces drivers to contend with a short 50-foot lane for the left turn onto campus, an off-ramp from eastbound I-580 that’s solely controlled by stop signs, and traffic flow from a side street (Pierson) that’s only 100 feet away from the off-ramp. LAMMPS corrects these problems by installing signals at all intersections to operate in conjunction with the others to keep traffic flowing while controlling pedestrian movement. A bus stop will be located on the east side of MacArthur after the turn to the Richards Gate, and bicycle lanes all the way up and down MacArthur will be defined by striping and stenciling on roadways.


MACARTHUR STREETSCAPE: MacArthur Boulevard south of Richards Gate will narrow from its current width to allow for broader sidewalks and bicycle lanes. London plane trees, which provide foliage along Richards Road on the Mills campus, have been chosen as the tree of choice throughout the MacArthur corridor, and California redbuds, wild lilacs, and lavenders will brighten the sidewalks as well. Further down MacArthur, homeowners will gain better access to their driveways from the road, and accessibility paths, flashing crosswalk lights, and additional stop signs will further protect pedestrians.




lls C o


l le g e




ll Co



I-580 UNDERPASS: At some point in the future, the dark and drab area under I-580 will see life once again. While not a part of this current effort, LAMMPS calls for the triangle of land between MacArthur Boulevard, the on-ramp to westbound I-580, and Buell Street to receive much of the same treatment as the rest of the LAMMPS project area, such as greenery and bicycle lanes. It also stands to benefit from dedicated space for a small dog park, places to sit, and public art. The entire project also prioritizes sustainability with features such as permeable pavement and bioswale to reduce runoff and remove pollutants from stormwater.





AAMC NEWS & NOTES A Message from the AAMC President As we start the New Year, I’m pleased to share TERESA TA M

highlights from our fall season of activities at Mills. For the alumnae community, Reunion is our most cherished annual celebration. Last September, the grand reopening of Lisser Hall made Reunion 2018 especially memorable—as did the efforts of all the alumnae and staff who helped organize the dozens of events that took place during our four-day gathering. Our preparations started months earlier, with 27 alumnae on the Reunion Planning Committee along with the College alumnae relations staff. The Class of 1968 formed its own committee of 15 to plan its 50th Reunion and raise funds for its gift to the College. All this made for great attendance and record giving. The Alumnae Association of Mills College (AAMC) Awards Luncheon, for example, drew 225 alumnae and guests. We honored three outstanding alumnae, selected by our Alumnae Awards Committee, for their achievements and contributions: Claire

Mills College President Beth Hillman, the three alumnae award recipients— Melissa Stevenson Diaz, Myila Granberry, and Claire Copenhagen Bainer— and AAMC President Viji Nakka-Cammauf.

Copenhagen Bainer ’74, MA ’75; Melissa Stevenson Diaz ’91; and Myila Granberry ’05, whose award was presented by her mother, Toni McElroy ’83,

The AAMC is making a number of organizational changes

MA ’05, EdD ’13. We also recognized the 100th anniversary of

to better support new programs being launched under the

the Mills College Club of New York, whose anniversary cel-

MOC, such as MillsConnect. One of the first steps we’ve taken

ebration I attended in October (see page 27).

is to restructure our staff. Kate Robinson Beckwith, MFA ’13,

During the AAMC Update at Reunion, we unveiled a project

is our new communications and volunteer program coordi-

we’d been developing for nearly nine months in collaboration

nator. We also have two student-assistant positions: a gradu-

with Mills College and its Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of

ate student from the Lorry I. Lokey School of Business and

Business and Public Policy: MillsConnect, our online student–

Public Policy who serves as mentoring program and busi-

alumnae mentoring and networking platform. A panel of AAMC

ness coordinator, and an undergraduate student who serves

volunteers, College staff, and students discussed the need for

as office assistant. These AAMC positions work closely with

alumnae mentors and received an enthusiastic response from

the College’s alumnae relations staff. Together, we’re making

the audience. To date, more than 1,300 alumnae have joined

strides to fulfill the MOC and support the interests and vision

MillsConnect. If you haven’t done so yet, I urge you to sign

we share with the College.

up at so you can both mentor students and network with other alumnae.

I must close this letter, however, with news of profound loss: on November 7, our beloved AAMC Governor Linda Stingily ’78

Also at the AAMC Update, we announced that the AAMC

passed away. Linda was our board’s poet laureate, always ready

Board of Governors had approved a gift to the College of

to share a verse, a quote, or words of wisdom. She made us more

$10,000 in support of a key academic initiative: to train Mills

reflective. Linda had been hospitalized for several months, but

faculty in new ways of teaching, advising, and mentoring stu-

none of us expected to lose her so suddenly. She was a one-of-

dents, and to develop faculty leadership capacity. The AAMC

a-kind alumna, and I will miss her dearly.

is delighted to partner with the College on these initiatives


in the spirit of our 2017 Memorandum of Collaboration and

Viji Nakka-Cammauf, MA ’82

Agreement (MOC) with Mills.

President, Alumnae Association of Mills College



The 2018 Alumnae Awards Each Reunion, the AAMC honors three graduates who are

profit organization that would become known as BlueSkies

making a difference in the Mills community and the world.

for Children. In true Bent Twig fashion, Claire began teach-

Recent Graduate Award

ing at BlueSkies in 1985 and became co-director upon Anne’s retirement in 1995. A childcare center that started with only

Myila Granberry ’05 has been part of the Mills community

10 children, BlueSkies has grown to serve as many as 100 each

since childhood, having attended many alumnae events with

year, from two months to five years of age. It remains the only

her mother, Toni McElroy ’83, MA ’05, EdD ’13. So it’s no surprise

nationally accredited childcare center in Oakland.

that she involved herself in leadership with the AAMC. In 2015,

Claire understands that parents need smart, well-educated

she joined the Alumnae of Color Committee (AoCC), of which

teachers to guide their children through their impressionable

she became co-chair this fall. An active volunteer, Myila has

early years. So she has secured grants providing scholarships

organized several annual AoCC events, such as the fundraising

and funding stipends for graduate students studying ECE at

concert for the Alumnae of Color Endowed Scholarship and the

Mills and beyond. Claire outlines the ideal ECE environment—

annual Phenomenal Women of Color Award Ceremony. Myila

a hybrid of a child development center and a loving home—in

has also engaged a third generation of her family in supporting

Second Home: A Day in the Life of a Model Early Childhood

Mills: her son, Ahmed, often takes photographs at AoCC events.

Program, written with her co-director, Liisa Karne Hale ’77.

Myila earned her MA in special education at Holy Names

Their latest book, The Bridge to School, written with Gail Myers

University. She currently works in Oakland as an academic

’70, was published in 2018 on Routledge Press.

intervention specialist at the Seneca Center, an advocacy cen-

A model of excellence for the ECE community, BlueSkies’

ter for kids in group and foster homes. Myila’s dedication and

impact is due in no small part to Claire’s commitment to blend-

contributions to both the Bay Area and College communities

ing the best information available on child development and psy-

exemplify the true spirit of a Mills volunteer.

chology with true respect for the youngest members of society.

Outstanding Volunteer Award

–Kate Robinson Beckwith, MFA ’13

Melissa Stevenson Diaz ’91 started her long history of volunteering for Mills while a student, as president of the Associated Students of Mills College (ASMC) and as a leader of the successful student strike of 1990. This experience helped propel Melissa into a life of public service. After Mills, Melissa began a fruitful career in city administration, earning her master’s in public administration from San Jose State University in 1996. She has worked for a number of South Bay cities, culminating in her position as city manager of Redwood City in 2015. All the while, Melissa continued to volunteer with the AAMC in many roles. She served on the Board of Governors from 1995-2005 and as an alumna trustee in 2013-2016. In that role, Melissa also served on the College’s Board of Trustees and its Campus Planning Committee, where she applied her experience in municipal government to provide expert advice on plans to make better use of unoccupied campus land. Such a notable track record shows how Melissa makes a deep impact on each of her communities.

Distinguished Achievement Award Claire Copenhagen Bainer ’74, MA ’75, found her passion in the traditional women’s world of early childhood education (ECE), but she has created new childcare models to better serve the needs of working women and families today. In 1983, her mother, Anne Sherwood Copenhagen ’44, founded the non-

Three recipients of the Alumnae of Color Endowed Scholarship spoke about the significant support they’ve received from the AAMC’s Alumnae of Color Committee (AoCC) during the scholarship’s annual fundraising event in November. AoCC co-chair Gwen Jackson Foster ’67 (left) led the discussion with Sharon Robinson ’14, MPP ’15, Bryana Jones ’17, and Danae Kimble ’19, following a performance by the Lucy Kinchen Chorale with Connie Swan Davidson ’73, MA ’02, EdD ’06. The AoCC is seeking to raise the scholarship endowment from $130,000 to $200,000.



2018 2 SEPT.










Muffy McKinstry Thorne, Gene Bozorth Stockton, Dorothy Braaten Kennedy, Marilyn Wilson Newland, Celia Wetzel Taylor

Joyce Partenheimer Mann, Kay Miller Browne, Mary Alice Turner Carswell, Barbara Lee Anderson, Jane Van Rysselberghe Bernasconi, Carol Rugeti Alcalay, Patricia Welch Schanzenbach

1958 Top row: Mary Stuart McCullough, Wynne Wrigley Bacon, Helen Drake Muirhead, Bonnie Reuter Leaver, Marilyn Winans Front row: Barbara Steward Hillmer, Peggy Woodruff, Mary-Clare Morris (with Leticia), Sheila Knipscheer Johnson



1963 Top row: Emily Yarnall, Linda Page, Mary Root Campbell, Kay Hamblen Rafferty, Susan Miles Gulbransen, Linda Seligman Schulz, Meg Goldsmith Fawcett Second row: Dodie Cathcart Seagle, Linda Barker Spear, Judy Salzer Warner, Judy Horwedel Clark, Sarah Becker ’97, Barbara Becker, Alice McCracken Front row: Bobbi Meyer Bear, Patti Alter Fisher, Connie Young Yu, Anita Aragon Kreplin, Pooh Kinkead (husband of the late Mary Ann Childers Kinkead, MA ’65), Patricia Yoshida Orr, Nangee Warner Morrison, Maurie Davidson

Class of 1968 50th Reunion 1968 On stairs, top row: Barbara Morrow Williams, Kim Giles Weinstein, Kay Lamer, Margi Sewald Sullivan, Candy Pelissero, Ethel Chang On stairs, fourth row: Anna E. Stool, Winifred Ebmeier Cullen, Amy Millar, Wendy Hull Brody, Sarah Moser, Pamela Stranley Trulson, Debby Campbell Dittman On stairs, third row: Evany Zirul, Pamela Katims Steele, Francisca de Larios Hansen, Amy Rothschild Friedkin, Toni Marshall Adams-Robinson, Penny Owen Stigers On stairs, second row: Lynne E. Dawson, Kristen Reasoner Apgar, Lynne Haney Blake, Gretchen FitzGerald Chesley, Pili Durdan Meyer On ramp, top row: Laurel Burden, Patti Abelov Demoff, Susan McKenna, Nancy Dreyer Blaugrund, Linda Cohen Turner, Kathy Coopman, Susan Sexson, Elaine Wong Chew, Jane Rose, Victoria VanBuskirk Ghulam, Kay Lowry Low, Sue Tucker, Cred ’69, Terry Hinkle Fairman, Marina Kershaw Simenstad, MA ’11 On ramp, second row: Marcia Watson Edson, Susan P. Martin, Helen-Marie Wagner Holmgren, MA ’71, Susy Stern Fineman, LaVerne Hillard Whitmill, Karen Millis Mansergh, Carol Stoddard Segur, Gayle Rothrock, Linda Kraft Jesmok, Donna Miller McLain Front row: Karen Anderson, Tamia Lynn Hope, Marcia Bernstein Bogue, Corinne Brandt Gallagher, Pam Hunt, Rachel Sadler Mueller, MA ’70, Fritzi Cornell Montgomery Scopp, Joanne Arburua Dow, Sharon Coleman, Lucy Langdon, Marilyn Cole Arrington, Alissa Kaufman Rosenberg, Betsy Woodward

1973 Linda Kay, Sheryl J. Bize-Boutte, Connie Swan Davidson, MA ’02, EdD ’06

1978 Top row: Stephanie Leong, Anne Baker, Susan Crain Hansen, Jana McDonough, Yvonne Dechant Lorvan Second row: Linda Larson Davis, Bonita Richardson Parrill, Marie Bowman, Patti Paynter Berrow, Roanne Poverello Tom Front row: Celia Khim, Karen Hoh Talioaga, Janet Chang-Pryor, Debbie Alvillar-Martinez WINTER 2019


2018 SEPT.








1983 Top row: Stephanie Graham, Nancy McCollough Blake, MA ’90, Dana Jackson-Mitchell, Sally O’Neal, Katie Sanborn, Rachel Bagwell Crossman Front row: Sarah Tyrrell, Kathy Kidd Croughan, Sandra Lee-Sung, Sharon Gray Taplin, Elizabeth Stephenson Norheim, Jean Griffin

1988 Top row: Angela Begley, Cathy Gildea, Beth Harris Bigelow, Rebecca Pugh O’Neil, Robin Peers Fallat, Marlene M. Goerl, Abby Grant Third row: Michelle Mope Andersson, Kelly Smith, Kathryn Gillespie, Mary Kathryn Kelley, Jennifer Trueblood, Kristi Pollock-Linn, Maryann McClure Amado, Suki Gibson, Michanne Hoctor-Thompson Second row: Gin Likins Breaux, Ana Siu Athanasiu, Stephanie Thompson, Cynthia Jackson, Laura Gilliland, Heidi Smith Gilbert, Sharon Leskowski Front row: Anne Reardon, Terrilyn Chun, Laura Henderson Wohl, Desiree Calderon-Smith, Michele Nicols Taylor, Glynis Nakahara

1993 Top row: Majken Talbot, Zelda Allison, Jennifer Miller, Stacy Boales Varner, Kristine St. Martin, Charissa Gering y de Onate Garabedian Second row: Lauren Obermueller Keene, Christine Bartholomew Pierson, Laura Compton, Heather Madaus Sears, Trina Cook, Katherine Mahood Front row: Jean Sirius, Jennifer Moxley, Julia Bourland Chambers, Gloria Rodriguez Bañuelos, Priya Kanuga, Tammi Cason, Amy Claire Duffy, Elizabeth Bales-Stutes



To purchase prints, visit

1998 Deirdre Roney, Elese Lebsack

2003 Top row: Alice Kaminski, Christine Couture, Liz Pickering, Hatzune Aguilar Sanchez, Kathy Spaeth, Nicki Keller Front row: Kara Kasunich, Michelle Balovich, MBA ’18, Rachel Kau-Taylor, Jill Kunishima




Hayley Dawson, Rozena Harten, María D. Domínguez, Jenn Kruss

Johanna Jenkins, Chelsea Ekholm, Nia Daniel

Natasha Culbreth

▶ Reunion 2019

Mark your calendars for Reunion 2019 September 19 to 22 Honoring class years ending in 4 or 9



2018 2 SEPT.







More than 350 alumnae and guests returned to campus from September 27 to 30 to enjoy favorite Reunion activities like class dinners as well as a once-in-a-lifetime event: Lisser Hall’s grand reopening. At Saturday’s luncheon, reunioning classes announced a stunning collective contribution to the College: $5.17 million, including the record-breaking $4.6 million raised by the Class of 1968.




Class Notes do not appear in the online edition of Mills Quarterly. Alumnae are invited to share their news with classmates in the Mills College alumnae community. To submit notes for publication in the next available Quarterly, send your update to classnotes@mills. edu.

Class Notes do not appear in the online edition of the Mills Quarterly. Alumnae are invited to share their news with classmates in the Mills College Alumnae Community, To submit notes for publication in the next available Quarterly, send your update to

In Memoriam Notices of death received before October 20, 2018 To submit listings, please contact or 510.430.2123 Alice Etsuko Eto Sumida ’36, August 16, in Beaverton, Oregon. Alice was recognized for her work in the preservation of ethnic traditions by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan. She volunteered in countless organizations and became an avid ballroom dancer at age 84. Alice is survived by three sisters, including Grace Eto Shibata ’00. Florence Fox Rubenstein ’38, September 17, in Los Angeles, California. She donated her time to Mills as a regional volunteer and spent many years educating children as a music teacher. She is survived by two sons and her daughter, Ann Rubenstein Zerin ’64. Gwen Canon Carlson ’39, July 11, in Duluth, Minnesota. A member of the golf team at Mills, she continued to indulge in her love of the sport for many years. Gwen was also an active skier and was always interested in civic affairs and politics. She is survived by several children and grandchildren. Natalie Solomon Feldman, MA ’40, June 6, in Batavia, Illinois. She made a career as a psychotherapist, but still had time to serve as class agent for graduate alumnae of Mills. She is survived by three daughters, including Janis Feldman Siner ’69. Jeanne Zenobia Gaillard Dexter ’41, February 6, 2017, in Moraga, California. She is survived by her daughter, Margaret Dexter Hoffman ’73. Mildred “Mid” Eberly Rothrock ’41, September 18, in Santa Rosa, California. Mid joined the American Red Cross in World War II and served in Europe during the war, receiving a presidential citation for service with the Red Cross Clubmobile. She held a lifelong passion for dogs and served as a judge for the American Kennel Club. Mid is survived by three daughters. Marian Hays Patton ’46, May 4, in Gainesville, Florida. After Mills, she continued her education at UC Berkeley and Columbia University before becoming a librarian at Stanford University. She volunteered as a docent at Filoli and was involved with the Commonwealth Club, the California Native Plants Society, and the Los Altos Art Club. Jane Jackson Campbell ’46, September 20, in Calistoga, California. She was lover of all animals, including horses, cows, dogs, raccoons, skunks, and her 26 cats. She loved traveling, swimming, playing tennis, horseback riding, and hang gliding. She is survived by numerous nieces and nephews. Doris Shaughnessy Barlow, MA ’47, September 16, in Bethesda, Maryland. She was passionate about providing educational opportunities and worked as a school counselor for the District of Columbia. Equally passionate about music, singing, swimming, and traveling, Doris’s radiant smile will be missed by her three children. Patsy Lee Miller Hosman ’48, August 13, in Placida, Florida. While at Mills, she majored in economics and played in the Mills orchestra. After Mills, she started a successful real estate company and enjoyed bowling, playing bridge, and living by the ocean. She is survived by three children. Shelley Schaffer Stukhart ’50, September 15, in San Antonio, Texas. She transferred from Mills to the University of Maryland, then enjoyed a long life of volunteering at such organizations as the San Antonio Zoo and the Army Residence Community. She is survived by a daughter and a son. 30


Dixie Mealer Wilson ’51, August 18, in Walnut Grove, California. She embarked on a lifetime of adventure after leaving Mills, visiting six of the seven continents, flying small planes with her husband, and sailing on her cabin-cruiser, The Dixie. She is survived by three sons. Betty L. Boldin Adams ’52, July 12, in Carmichael, California. She spent many years as a math and science teacher with the San Juan Unified School District and was beloved by many. She is survived by three children, three grandchildren, and a great-grandchild. Joan Bulley Keever ’52, July 29, in New Canaan, Connecticut. She led a full life of competitive golfing, synchronized swimming, painting, award-winning needlepoint, and cooking. Her spirit, famous cheesecake, and love of Christmastime will be greatly missed by her two children. Beatrice Weicker Baldauf ’55, July 23, in San Francisco, California. Bea spent much of her time as helmswoman of a sloop named Windsong, which she shared with her husband. In her free time, she competed with the Marin Rowing Club and tended an organic community garden with her neighborhood. She is survived by two sisters and three children. Katherine “Kit” Farrow Jorrens ’57, September 25, in Concord, Vermont. An avid photographer, Kit was also a member of the Concord (Massachusetts) Chorus for 35 years, which she proudly directed to sing a choral piece by her longtime friend Dave Brubeck, MA ’46. Kit taught ESL to students from around the world for 28 years. She is survived by two sons, two grandchildren, and her twin brother. Amy Elizabeth Schanno McCarthy ’58, September 20, in Belmont, California. She was an avid San Francisco 49ers fan and enjoyed spending time in Maui. She is survived by two nieces, a nephew, and two stepsons. Kay Diane Harper Nelson ’58, August 15, in Centennial, Colorado. Kay married Rex, her husband of 61 years, in the Mills College Chapel. She worked in education as a teacher and administrator, and spent free time skiing, traveling, and camping in the Rocky Mountains. She is survived by Rex. Corrinna Jackson Aragon ’60, April 14, in Los Angeles, California. She is survived by a son and a daughter. Lynn Nickles Spindler ’61, February 2, in Austin, Texas. Her career spanned retail, interior design, and real estate. She loved her dogs, soaking up salt air at the beach, and reading. Devoted to her family, she will be missed by her three children. Josephine “Jo” Jackson Malti ’62, MA ’62, July 31, in San Francisco, California. She came to Mills to study music under Darius Milhaud and had a long career as a solo piano recitalist and accompanist. She co-founded the Greenwich Chamber Players and participated in various musical groups over the years. Jo is survived by two cousins and a family of friends. Suzy Luttrell Ticho ’62, May 21, in San Diego, California. She spent time with the Peace Corps, doing field work in the Philippines, and is survived by one son. Ann Holland Truax ’63, October 7, in Mill Creek, Washington. She met the love of her life, Janice, while running her own pet care and home watch business. She volunteered generously at the Bailey Boushay House and with her local Humane Society, and enjoyed reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. Ann will be missed by Janice and a sister and brother.

Julia Anne Voorhies ’66, September 13, in Emeryville, California. Julia received her MBA in finance from Golden Gate University and was a mentor to many during her career in corporate and foundation development. She relished traveling, playing bridge with friends, cooking, and volunteering at Mills, where she served as AAMC president for some time. She is survived by three children. Alice Wistar Herbert ’67, Cred ’86, June 17. She was deeply involved in nonprofits, including Operation Freedom Paws. Alice was predeceased by her husband, George, and is survived by two sons and her sister, Carroll “Jill” Wistar Hatier ’60. Margaret Ann Kendrick ’70, August 19, in San Francisco, California. After earning an MA in museum studies from San Francisco State University, she landed her dream job as documentation specialist at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She was a member of the Footloose Dance Troupe and an avid arts supporter. She is survived by her mother and daughter. Martha Wallace-Jones ’73, September 26, in Brattleboro, Vermont. She loved books, plays, crosswords, and high fashion. Her proudest achievement was her daughter, Helen, with whom she shared many passions, including art, music, and adventure. Martha is survived by her daughter and two sisters. Susan Fay Ciriclio, MFA ’74, August 19, in Oakland, California. A professor of photography at California College of the Arts, she received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for her interdisciplinary art practice. Her work is held in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Oakland Museum of California, and the Mills College Art Museum, among other institutions. Catherine “Cathy” Gail Robinson Ross ’75, September 11, in Enderby, British Columbia. She is survived by her sister, Elizabeth Jane Shoemaker ’64, and two sons. Christine “Christie” Paula Clark, Cred ’90, July 18, in Saint Mary’s City, Maryland. She attended Mills after serving in the Peace Corps for seven years. While living in Berkeley, she worked as a ceramic artist and an elementary school teacher. She is survived by her partner, Patrick; her son; and her sister.

Marion Ross ’44 Marion Ross, professor emerita of economics and former dean of the faculty at Mills, died October 25 in her Berkeley home at the age of 94. Born in San Francisco in 1924 and raised in San Pedro, California, Marion entered Mills with her sister, Elise, in 1940. She majored in economics and graduated as valedictorian of her class. Toward the end of World War II, Marion worked for Todd Shipyards as an accounting assistant. From 1946 to 1951, she lived at UC Berkeley’s International House—an organization she served in later years as a board member and donor. After attending the London School of Economics for a year, she began doctoral studies at UC Berkeley, completing her PhD in economics in 1956. She went to India as a Fulbright Scholar, then taught at the University of Michigan–Flint. In 1959, she began teaching economics at Mills. She served the College in numerous positions, including chair of the Department of Economics and of the Division of Social Sciences. Following the Strike of 1990, she served for two years as dean of the faculty, first under Acting President Virginia Smith and then under President Janet Holmgren. During one of several Convocation addresses Marion gave at Mills, she explained her commitment to higher education, saying: “I see a liberal arts education as a search for freedom—from shibboleths, ignorance, bigotry, and a narrow life.” After retiring in 1992, she continued to be an active member of the Mills community. A student residence, a conference room, and a merit scholarship for economics majors were named in her honor. Mills trustee Leslie Decker ’79 remembers Marion as a “rare and unforgettable academic advisor and mentor.” Sharon Page-Medrich ’05 says she was “unflinching in her professional and personal standards but unfailingly kind and generous to those who sought her help.” In addition to the thousands of Mills students she inspired, Marion is survived by two nieces, a nephew, several grand-nieces and grandnephews, and many loving friends.

Michelle Ellen Kellman, MA ’10, June 18, in Berkeley, California.

Spouses and Family Fred Ackroyd, father of Margaret H. Ackroyd ’14, February 12, 2017, in Woodside, California. Alice Chetkovich, mother of Professor Emerita of Public Policy Carol A. Chetkovich, July 19, in Santa Cruz, California. Carmoreau Hatier, husband of Carroll Wistar Hatier ’60, and father of Kezha Hatier-Riess ’93, April 17. Robert Nakamura, husband of Jaye Majel Nakamura ’67, July 26, in Westerlo, New York. Avron Rosenberg, husband of Alissa Louise Rosenberg ’68, September 3, in Boca Raton, Florida. Harry Shopmaker, husband of Janice Jacobs Shopmaker ’51, February 16, in Shawnee Mission, Kansas. John Ross Stetson, husband of Carol Melkonian Stetson ’56, July 12, in Santa Barbara, California. Fred Harrison Wells, husband of Marilyn Maynard Wells ’55, September 17, in Salem, Oregon. WINTER 2019




Sissy Rosenberg Cutchen ’81 (wearing MCAN's Mills chocolate chip cookie T-shirt) and Ann Kasper ’81 at the launch of the art auction during Reunion, with paintings by Lorinda Bader Reichert ’67.

Now in its third year, the Mills College Artists’ Network (MCAN)

possible if Ann was involved,” Cutchen declares. But Kasper, who

is more than halfway to claiming its first victory: establishing

hosts the auction through her website, is quick to credit Cutchen

a $50,000 scholarship endowment to benefit Mills students.

with getting their initiative rolling: “Sissy wanted to create this

MCAN’s 2018 online art auction netted more than $12,000

network of artists. She wanted to give back to the school (and she

for this endowment between September 27 and November 10,

can be very persuasive).”

bringing the total raised to $32,000. But fundraising progress

Cutchen and Kasper donate the time and resources they

is just part of the picture—led by Sissy Rosenberg Cutchen ’81

devote to MCAN and the annual auctions, which typically

and Ann Kasper ’81, MCAN has created a unique opportunity

open during Reunion. To promote MCAN, they have hosted

for alumnae artists to give back to Mills through their artwork

and organized events coast-to-coast through regional Mills

and to gain visibility in the Mills community.

clubs and branches. They have recruited painters, sculptors,

A Virginia-based artist known for her folk-art paintings,

textile artists, and even musicians who donate their work to

Cutchen says she fondly remembers her time on Mills’ eucalyp-

the auction. When a piece is sold, all of the proceeds go to the

tus-scented campus. After learning about the College’s budget

Mills College Artists’ Network Scholarship. “What is most mag-

deficits in 2014, she says, “I realized Mills was in financial need,

ical about our network is we have created a revenue stream

and it compelled me to spring into action.” With the Mills College

which would not exist otherwise,” Cutchen says.

Club of Greater DC acting as her platform and with the support

Kasper says, “Our aim has been to raise $10,000 each year

of former Alumna Trustee Judith James ’74, Cutchen dove into

through the auction. When Mills women decide that they

the early stages of a giving project for Mills artists, hoping that it

want to do something, they do it.” Because of MCAN’s success,

would lay the foundation to benefit future generations.

Cutchen says, “In 2019, we want to double our efforts!”

At the College’s 2015 Reunion, Cutchen reconnected with

To help MCAN reach its goal, make a gift using the enclosed

classmate Kasper, a fashion industry consultant with an online

envelope and indicate that it is designated to the Mills College

shop, “I knew this whole idea would only be

Artists’ Network Scholarship, or visit –Sara Wintz ’07



Shape the future of the Alumnae Association of Mills College (AAMC) JOIN OUR BOARD OF GOVERNORS. As a governor, you will: NOMINATIONS FOR AAMC BOARD DUE APRIL 8

• Work with other members of the board to make decisions that best represent alumnae and promote a strong working relationship between alumnae and the College. • Attend board meetings (typically four or five each year). • Participate on AAMC committees. All alumnae are invited to submit nominations for the 2019–22 term by Monday, April 8, 2019. See the “Leadership” section of the AAMC website,, for more information. Send nominations to Nominating Committee Chair Marina Kershaw Simenstad ’68 at or AAMC, 5000 MacArthur Blvd., MB #86, Oakland, CA 94613.

AAMC Travel Programs Eat Your Heart Out! Paris and Burgundy With Professor Emeritus of History Bert Gordon Sep. 24–Oct. 8

Jane Austen’s England With Professor of English Kirsten Saxton, June 10–24

Bert Gordon, who has studied the food and wine of France for decades, guides you through a remarkable and delicious sojourn through this gastronomical epicenter! Your week in Paris includes the city’s famous sights along with visits to gourmet food shops, special cooking classes, and memorable meals. Your gustatory journey continues in Beaune, where you’ll immerse yourself in the history, technique, and delights of Burgundy’s world-renowned viticultural area.

Venture into the thatched country villages, green countryside, and small parish churches that made up the idyllic world of Jane Austen. The itinerary includes a visit to a regal estate used for recent film versions of her works as well as stops in Bath, Salisbury, and Stratford-Upon-Avon to discover more about the novelist and those who inspired her. Professor of English Kirsten Saxton ’90, an expert on 18th-century British literature, joins the tour to provide literary commentary and color.

Italian Riviera, June 15–23

Portugal’s Romantic Douro River, September 17–28

Relax along this beautiful coastline, renowned for turquoise seas, sun-drenched beaches, and postcard-perfect towns.

Portugal led the world during the Age of Discovery. Now you can rediscover the country’s scenic beauty, rich tradition, and most famous product: port wine.

Paris: The African American Experience, September 8–16 Walk in the footsteps of luminaries such as Josephine Baker, Langston Hughes, Miles Davis, and more as you learn about the influence of African American arts and culture in 1920s and 1930s Paris.

Cruising Coastal Vietnam & Angkor Wat, November 5–19 Discover an intriguing blend of French and Asian heritage in Hanoi before exploring three UNESCO World Heritage sites and the magnificent temples of Angkor. Extensions in Hong Kong or Bangkok available.

Visit to view full itineraries for each trip. For reservations or additional information, call the AAMC at 510.430.2110 or email

Mills Quarterly Mills College 5000 MacArthur Blvd. Oakland, CA 94613-1301 510.430.3312

Wrap yourself in Mills history Time capsule scarves In 1901, under a cornerstone of Lisser Hall—the College’s brand-new theater— the Mills community buried a copper time capsule containing local newspapers, a catalog, a commencement program, and a memorial biography of Cyrus Mills, College namesake and past president. In 2017, the time capsule was unearthed and opened during Lisser’s renovation. Water seepage had badly damaged the documents, but in its wake, it left behind a gorgeous patina of stains and swirls on the paper. Images of the stained newspapers and catalog have been imprinted on poly chiffon scarves, designed by Phaedra Gauci ‘05, transforming the time capsule into keepsakes for today’s Mills community. Choose from three scarf designs in two different lengths (10” by 45” for $25, 16” by 72” for $48); order yours at,, or 510.430.2128. Proceeds benefit Mills College.

Limited-edition Mills Hall scarf by Hung Liu

This silk scarf features a painting by renowned artist and Professor Emerita of Studio Art Hung Liu, which was inspired by Eadweard Muybridge’s famous 1873 photo of Mills Hall. Designed for the Alumnae Association of Mills College, the 36-inch square scarf will never be reprinted, but a few pieces are still available for $95 each. To order, please call the AAMC at 510.430.2110 or email aamc@ Proceeds benefit the AAMC . STILL AVAILABLE

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