Mills College

Mills College was originally founded in 1852 as a young ladies’ seminary.  It was the first women’s college west of the Rockies.

Aurelia Reinhardt, PhD, was born in 1877 and served as President of Mills College in Oakland, California, from 1916-1943.  My grandmother was born in 1886.  Somehow or other, my grandmother knew somebody who knew Aurelia Reinhardt.  When she learned that I was going to Mills College she gave me a photograph album.  Here are the photos.  Some of these places are still there today and some are not.  Mills made headline news in the 1990’s when economic troubles threatened to force it to go coed.  The students and alumni rallied, protested, and raised enough money to keep it all women.


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      1. Great photos! Love my memories of the Oakland Hills while attending The Anna Head School.

  1. Spent a lovely 4 years there 1982-1986. Absolutely fell in love with the Bay Area. The Strike of ’90 was just after our class, but there were many still in the Bay Area to provide support to the striking students. Recently enjoyed a weekend there this past Sept for my 25th (gasp!) reunion.

  2. It’s lovely to see pictures of the way Mills used to look. Some of the buildings I recognize, and some I don’t. The Margaret Carnegie Library looks like what we now call the Bender Room in Sage Hall. I wish I knew where Olny Way was…it looks so serene and peaceful. I feel like so many of the paths are overgrown or forgotten these days, except for the main, paved ones. Thanks so much for sharing these!

      1. That’s too bad. It is still very beautiful. I lived in Warren Olny Hall during my first year at Mills, so anything Olny has a special place in my heart. It’s strange, but I think I’m growing more attached the closer May and graduation nears.

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