Polly Adams Welts Kaufman, class of 1951

Polly Adams Welts Kaufman, class of 1951

Polly Adams Welts Kaufman graduated from Brown in 1951 with an AB in American Civilization. She was editor of the Pembroke Record and, after graduating, of the Pembroke Alumna. Kaufman completed her graduate work at the University of Washington (MA, American History, 1953) and Boston University (EdD, 1978) and currently teaches History at the University of Southern Maine. She is the author of National Parks and the Woman’s Voice and Women Teachers on the Frontierand editor of The Search for Equity: Women at Brown University, 1891-1991, which was published on the 100th anniversary of the women's education at Brown. 

Polly Welts Kaufman begins this interview by recounting her family life  in Haverhill, Massachusetts before and after World War II. In Part 1, she also talks about the dating scene among freshmen at Pembroke; her work as a waitress; the participation of city girls in work and extracurricular activities; and her role as editor of the Pembroke Record.  

In Part 2, she discusses conforming to fashion norms; the limited professional opportunities for married women; her cultural education at Pembroke; Dean Nancy Duke Lewis; her work as editor of the Pembroke Alumna magazine; her call for Pembroke to improve equality and diversity among administration, faculty and students; her role in the establishment of the Christine Dunlap Farnham Archives; her career establishing libraries for the Boston school system; and her work as a historian and author.

Part 1
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Part 2
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Recorded on Feb 9, 1988

John Hay Library, Brown University

Interviewed by Louise M. Newman