Nation’s oldest park ranger receives honorary doctorate from Mills College

OAKLAND (KRON)–A local civil rights icon was recognized by Mills College Saturday afternoon for nearly a century of activism on behalf of women and the African-American Community.

Betty Reid Soskin,95, was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the university.

Soskin grew up in Oakland and later became a business owner and civil rights leader in the 1960s.

She said that as a young girl, Mills College was always a mystery to her, but on Saturday she became a part of the school’s history forever.

“I’m now inside and this is amazing,” Soskin said.

She currently works at Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historical Park and is the nation’s oldest park ranger.

In 2016, Soskin was awarded a commemorative coin by former President Barack Obama but it was stolen in a violent robbery.

The coin was later replaced by the White House accompanied with a personal letter from the former president.

Soskin was overjoyed that her hard work has yet to go unnoticed.

“To have lived into an age, to be affirmed in this way, by Mills College… you have no idea what that means,” she said.

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