Bert Gordon discusses Mills history online

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Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Oakland Public Library has explored different ways to engage the local community safely at home, including through educational webinars. Hosted by the Oakland History Center, the Fall History Series covered important places and organizations tied to Oakland, and on October 27, 2021, it presented “History & Legacy of Mills College.” The video from that session is now available for viewing at

Led by Professor Emeritus of History Bert Gordon, the webinar dove deep into  the history of Mills. As if it were another lecture for his students, he started with the beginning of the the College’s story in 1852 and worked his way to the present day, including the pending merger with Northeastern University. His extensive presentation used pictures from various periods of the College’s history, and even quotes from past issues of the Quarterly.

At the end of the presentation, he answered questions from viewers in the audience—including alumnae who took his classes in the past. There were some who expressed concerns about the future of Mills, but Gordon addressed those fears with hope for the next generation of students: “There is a legacy, and that legacy will continue, even with whatever changes occur. Maybe I’m being optimistic, but I think that the legacy of Mills is so powerful.”