The founder of the study of economics at Vassar, Professor Herbert E. Mills, died at his home on Academy Street at the age of 84.   Coming to Vassar in 1890 from Cornell as associate professor of history and economics, Mills quickly drew the attention of Professor of History Lucy Maynard Salmon, who wrote to friends, “The new associate professor goes on his way like an historical comet.”  In 1893, when economics became a separate department, Mills headed it.

The dean of the highly successful Nurses Training Camp in the summer of 1918, Mills was also the first president of the Dutchess County Child Welfare Board.  He acted as chairman of the faculty in the interim between the Vassar presidencies of James Monroe Taylor and Henry Noble MacCracken.