AAMC News & Notes

A Message from the AAMC President: Summer 2022

Dear Alumnae Community, 

As I complete my six years as president of the AAMC, I look back at some of the significant moments of my tenure. 

2016: President Alecia DeCoudreaux signed the Compact, which would redefine the AAMC-College relationship—and lead to a more specific AAMC-College operating agreement. 

February 2017: The AAMC endowed two $100,000 scholarships for DACA students and the Oakland Promise to enable high school students in Oakland to attend Mills. 

May 2017: The AAMC–Mills College Working Group submitted its “Report on the Implementation of the AAMC-Mills College Compact and Points of Agreement” to the Mills College Board of Trustees and the AAMC Board of Governors, which was approved in October. This shaped the future of the AAMC, including our role in fundraising, our use of Reinhardt Alumnae House, and opportunities for alumnae to engage with the College. The signing of the 2017 Memorandum of Collaboration and Agreement (MOC) between the AAMC and Mills College was a huge step forward in solidifying our partnership, and we began to see the benefits of the MOC as the AAMC and the College worked together to advance several key initiatives of MillsNext. 

December 2017: The AAMC Board of Governors made a historic decision as a board and voted unanimously to extend a $2-million line of credit to the College to fund two important academic initiatives: The Mills Undergraduate Signature Experience to redesign the undergraduate experience and enhance student recruitment and retention, and the Online Degrees for Selected School of Education Graduate Programs, which included two MA programs. 

September 2018: The AAMC made a $10,000 gift to help train faculty for online teaching. These were exciting times for the AAMC and the College, and resulted in close collaboration and joint initiatives. 

July 2020: During the pandemic, the AAMC raised more than $40,000 in hardship funds to help support international students who were unable to go back to their home countries. The relationship between the College and AAMC was the best I’d ever experienced, with trustees, governors, College officers, and staff being engaged. 

March 2021: The announcement of the College’s closure began a challenging and painful time for the AAMC. The alumnae community became polarized in its view of the lawsuits between the College and the AAMC, as well as the Northeastern University merger. Both parties ended their lawsuits in January 2022. 

February 2022: The AAMC held a summit to define the AAMC’s future as well as the Mills legacy as an empowering space for women and for lifelong connections. Since February, the AAMC and Mills have been in negotiations about Reinhardt Alumnae House and the alumnae database. The College has assured the AAMC that the terms of the MOC will continue regarding the exclusive use of Reinhardt Alumnae House for the next academic year. During the next year, the AAMC leadership will have ongoing conversations about the future partnership with Mills College at Northeastern. 

March 2022: The Alecia DeCoudreaux Endowed Scholarship for students of color reached the $254,100 mark. 

There is a lot more to reflect on, but I do want to express my appreciation to all who have served and will continue serving—and particularly those who are leaving the board this year: Gwen Jackson Foster ’67, Myila Granberry ’05, Adrienne McMichael Foster ’74, Debi Wood ’75, Courtney Long ’01, Claudia Mercado ’06, and Alexa Pagonas ’91. I also want to express my congratulations to incoming board members and ask that you extend your support and give a warm welcome to Debby Campbell Dittman ’68, the incoming president. I have every confidence that I am leaving the AAMC in good hands. 

On May 12, the AAMC lost one of its beloved alumnae, Lynda Campfield ’00, MA ’02 (to my right in the Pearl M photo below). She was a super volunteer who was on campus on May 2 to assemble and distribute finals snacks to students. Anyone who knew Lynda will attest to her warm smile, generous heart, and deep love for Mills. While we will miss her here on earth, she will live in our hearts forever. 

I want to close with one plea to all alumnae: Regardless of our differences, let us come together to cherish and keep alive the mission and legacy of Mills, which has been and will continue to be part of our lives forever. 

Thank you for the privilege of serving you as the president of the AAMC, and fare thee well. 

Viji Nakka-Cammauf, MA ’82 
AAMC President 

The future of the AAMC

Over the past few months, the AAMC has held two in-person summits and collected data through a survey to gather alumnae input regarding the future of the AAMC: its mission, membership, and activities. Overall, alumnae advocated for women- and justice-centered programs, a preservation of Mills College’s history and legacy, and prioritization for reconnection and continued connection among alumnae. Along with the preservation of alumnae awards, travel programs, and reunions, alumnae have expressed interest in maintaining the Mills mission of supporting marginalized students—through endowed scholarships that would support students at Mills College at Northeastern University and in the community at large; mentorship; and advocacy for social justice. To stay up-to-date on the AAMC’s future, please subscribe to our newsletter at aamc-mills.org

Our database

It is the AAMC’s goal for all of its members to remain strong and connected for years to come. We are working with the Office of Institutional Advancement to create a constituent database owned and operated by the AAMC. In order to be included in our database, alumnae must opt in using the form linked below. This will ensure our ability to contact you and plan our future. 

To opt in for inclusion in the database, please visit tinyurl.com/aamc-database

The AAMC is committed to safeguarding the privacy of personal information. To view our privacy policy, please visit aamc-mills.org/privacy-policy. If you believe the AAMC has not adhered to this statement, please contact us via our website at aamc-mills.org

Pearl M 2022

On April 26, the AAMC worked with the Office of Alumnae Relations to host the traditional Pearl M dinner in celebration of the Class of 2022. Students joined alumnae, board members, and College officers for a dinner in Rothwell Student Center and heard remarks of congratulations from President Elizabeth L. Hillman, Interim Provost Patricia Hardaway, and AAMC President Viji Nakka-Cammauf, MA ’82. Afterwards, attendees processed to sing “Remember” and “Fires of Wisdom” around the Music Building pond and enjoyed dessert at Reinhardt Alumnae House. The AAMC sends well wishes and congratulations to the resilient Class of 2022! 

Once again, the Alumnae Student Relations Committee distributed snack bags to students during finals week. Volunteers passed out 115 bags to students at the Tea Shop.

AAMC Travel Programs 2022

The Charm of the Amalfi Coast 
September 28–October 6
Cruise the beautiful Amalfi Coast, where colorful villas cling to the terraced hillsides, to tour the Duomo di Sant’ Andrea. You will stroll the lemon-scented lanes of Sorrento and walk the Corso Italia and Via San Cesareo, passing shops selling limoncello. Enjoy a scenic ride to Positano. Delight in the sensational cuisine of Napoli, especially the famed pizza Napoletana, and savor the rich flavors of locally grown olive oil and cheeses. Enjoy a day’s exploration of the ancient Roman ruins of Herculaneum and Pompeii, preserved by mud flows from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79. Study the ruins of well-preserved Greek temples, and the remains of three important Doric temples at Paestum. Add a post-trip excursion to the Isle of Capri via hydrofoil, taking in the stunning Faraglioni rocks and the many lovely grottos dotting the shoreline.

Great Lakes
September 17–September 24
Explore all five Great Lakes during this seven-night exclusively chartered cruise. Admire magnificent coastal scenery and discover North America’s passion for nearly two centuries of innovation and rich maritime history from Milwaukee to Toronto. Aboard the five-star small ship Le Dumont-d’Urville, featuring only 92 suites and staterooms, experience the historical charm of Mackinac Island, the unspoiled beauty of the UNESCO-inscribed Niagara Escarpment, the cultural largesse of Detroit, and the thunderous force of Niagara Falls. Transit the Welland Canal and Soo Locks, which are among the world’s greatest engineering feats of the 19th century. Milwaukee pre-program and Toronto post-program options.  

See the AAMC Travel Program website at alumnae.mills.edu/travel or email aamc@mills.edu for more information.