NEW YORK (WABC) -- History was made Tuesday as New York University held an inauguration for its first female president.
The Board of Trustees announced back in February that Linda G. Mills would be the university's 17th president.
(Video from previous report)
Mills has served as NYU's Vice Chancellor and Senior Vice Provost for Global Programs and University Life for more than a decade.
Her appointment followed a six-month international search that included a review of more than 100 candidates. The search committee said she was the unanimous choice.
"This is a tremendous honor, one of the wonderful things about NYU is that, even after dedicating 24 years of my life to this extraordinary university, there is always more to discover," Mills said. "I am eager to meet so many more of NYU's remarkable people; I intend to step into this new role with fresh eyes, excited to see the University and all its possibilities through their unique perspectives. I love NYU, both its glories and its challenges; I am filled with enthusiasm, emotion, and, most of all, gratitude, both for the trust that the Search Committee and the Board have placed in me, and for everything that the members of the NYU community do each day to make this such a remarkable university."
While she hopes to be an inspiration to students, she admits there will always be challenges.
"Racial justice, antisemitism, Islamophobia -- there is so much tension and complexity in the world," Mills said.
To all the young minds, she said stay inspired and don't be shy.
"You can do this, nothing should stand in your way, we are here for you, to learn everything you can and to feel supported to graduate and have a wonderful life," Mills said.
Mills is well known in the academic world for her scholarship in social work, specifically research in the field of domestic partner abuse and treatment.
She is also the director of NYU's Production Lab, which fosters student filmmaking, and she has directed and produced several documentaries herself, including "Of Many," a collaboration with Chelsea Clinton documenting the friendship between NYU's chaplains, Imam Khalid Latif and Rabbi Yehuda Sarna.
Additionally, "Auf Wiedersehen" explored her mother's forced exile from Europe during the Holocaust as a source of intergenerational trauma. That film's cast includes husband, Peter Goodrich, and their son, himself a 2019 NYU graduate.
She first came to NYU as an associate professor of social work in 1999 and in 2001 was promoted to full professor. Prior to coming to NYU, from 1994 to 1998, she was a lecturer at the School of Law and an assistant professor at the UCLA School of Public Policy and Social Research, where she received early tenure.
She began her new duties back on July 1.
Mills' appointment as the first woman to lead NYU, one of the country's largest private universities, followed other the recent appointments of women to lead other top national schools: Columbia, Harvard, MIT, Georgetown, and the University of Pennsylvania.