Almost immediately after the merger agreement between Mills and Northeastern was signed on September 14, 2021, officials from both schools started a series of cross-continental visits to bring the two institutions together on a more personal level.
The first visit, on September 27–28, saw Northeastern President Joseph Aoun travel to Mills along with some of his top reports, including Senior Vice President for University Advancement Diane MacGillivray, Senior Vice President for University Affairs Mike Armini, and Senior Chancellor and Provost Mary Ludden. In addition to meeting with various departments on campus and getting to know Mills staff members and students, the group toured College landmarks such as the Art Museum and Community Farm. The team from Northeastern was also welcomed by local Oakland officials, including Mayor Libby Schaaf, District 6 Councilmember Loren Taylor, and BART Board Director Lateefah Simon ’14, as well as members of the Board of Trustees.
In October, it was Mills’ turn to send administrators and faculty members across the country to visit Northeastern’s urban Boston campus. The Mills team consisted of Dean of Students Chicora Martin; Associate Provosts Christie Chung and Beth Kochly; Associate Vice President of Student Life Allie Littlefox, MBA ’20; Assistant Dean Inès Barbosa; and Professor of Public Policy Mark Henderson, all of whom spent time with Northeastern students considering this spring’s Leading Social Change program on the Mills campus. They also toured the campus to get a flavor of the Northeastern culture and appreciate the scope of the institution, which has more than 25,000 students enrolled.
“Every member of the Mills team was struck by the enthusiasm and excitement expressed by each student, faculty member, and staff member we met! Our conversations with students and staff at the Center for Intercultural Engagement and with the Cultural Center directors made visible our shared core values at the intersection of social justice and leadership,” Kochly said. “We are thrilled to welcome a cohort of these students to Mills this spring to learn alongside our Mills students, and look forward to creating a bicoastal community of Leaders for Social Change.”
Additional groups—including the Northeastern facilities team and Mills event staff and members of the Office of Institutional Advancement (OIA)—exchanged visits in advance of the holiday season.
Trustees Katie Sanborn ‘85 and Kirsten Wolfe ‘88 also traveled to Boston with the OIA team members so they could meet with Mills alumnae at a reception on the Northeastern campus.