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Open letter to Sarah Palin

Dear Governor Palin:

Congratulations on your nomination as a candidate for Vice President of the United States. As a woman leader, I welcome your commitment to civic leadership. As a mother, I share your commitment to children and family. While I strongly disagree with many of your stated positions-ranging from your views on the environment to reproductive rights-I profoundly hope that you and I agree on the importance of education as a critical avenue in providing opportunity for our children and building the future of our society.

As an educator and president of one of the nation’s oldest and most distinguished women’s colleges, I applaud the perseverance you showed in pursuing higher education. As many Americans do, you attended several higher education institutions before earning your bachelor’s degree. Your determination to complete your undergraduate degree reflects, I hope, the importance you attach to educational achievement.

Your children deserve a chance to enjoy the same educational opportunities that you did. Should you become Vice President, I hope your demonstrated perseverance will ensure that women and men across this country have access to high-quality education that allows them to make informed choices about their lives and the world around them.

At Mills College, we believe that education provides a vital foundation for women as they participate in the business and political worlds, serve as community and workforce leaders, and raise their sons and daughters. Mills works hard to provide access to high-quality education. Our students range in age from 17 to 93, and 32 percent are self-identified as students of color. 24 percent are transfer students, and 8 percent of our entering undergraduate Mills women are mothers.

I hope that, after his service in the military, you will encourage your son Track to take advantage of the G.I. Bill to pursue higher education. Your daughter Bristol, especially, should be encouraged to continue on to college so that she will be better able to foster her child’s potential. I extend to Bristol, and later to your daughters, Willow and Piper, the opportunity to apply to Mills College or other higher educational institutions to pursue their dreams and strengthen their opportunities as women and future mothers.