Oldest park ranger receives honorary Mills College degree

A 95-year-old ranger at Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond received an honorary doctoral degree Saturday at Mills College in Oakland, college officials said.

Betty Reid Soskin, the oldest park ranger in the National Park Service, was given the degree during the college’s 129th commencement.

College officials said Soskin has been tireless and outspoken about the discrimination and segregation of blacks who worked in the shipyards in Richmond in World War II.

Soskin is the granddaughter of a freed slave and worked as a file clerk in a segregated workplace in Richmond during that war.

She was a political activist and songwriter in the 1960s and later with her husband started a record store in Berkeley that’s still selling music.

Blacks who worked in the shipyards in Richmond helped build 747