Interviews by Topic: Dormitories

Marjorie Phillips Wood Burroughs, class of 1911

Marjorie Burroughs entered Pembroke College in 1907. In Part 1 of this interview, she remembers being disciplined as a freshman for the fun she had with her friends; Lida Shaw King, Dean of the Women's College; expectations for dress and behavior at Pembroke ; the language courses she took at Pembroke and at Brown; becoming a librarian at Harvard; basketball, bowling, dances, sororities, and other extracurricular activities; and being a tomboy. 

Gladys Paine Johnson, class of 1913

Gladys begins by describing her family and how she came to Brown in 1909, the first member to attend college. She considers herself lucky to have lived in the mansion on Benefit Street, where she met Sarah Doyle and made lifelong friends. Describing her classes and professors, Gladys remembers public speaking with Professor Thomas Crosby and Deans Lida Shaw King and Margaret Shove Morriss. She majored in math and notes that she did not receive any career guidance while in school.

Elizabeth Young (Jeffers) Winsor, class of 1924

Elizabeth begins the interview by discussing her family and the history of careers in education within her family. In Part 1, she talks about her courses at Brown; her disapproval of the Pembroke-Brown merger; extra-curricular activities including being class president, a member of the glee club, and a member of the pyramid squad; and other women’s colleges of the time.

Rose Roberta Traurig, class of 1928

Rose begins this interview by stating that she is going to need a long time to tell her history. She describes her family,  from Waterbury, Connecticut, and the high value they placed on education. At Brown, Rose's first dorm was Angell House, and she talks about entertaining guests there on weekends. She mentions that while she and her family never distinguished between Jews and Christians, Jewish girls were never invited to the parties held by the men. There were no sororities, but Rose had a tight group of friends: Joan Ashiem (Biel) and Eleanor Post.

Virginia Belle Macmillan Trescott, class of 1938

Virginia's interview begins with descriptions of her childhood and family in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. She recalls her years at Pembroke College, in particular: her role on the Pembroke Record staff and as President of the Student Government Association; life as a commuter student; attending college during the Depression; interactions with Brown faculty members; and student activities, including formal dances, Ivy Day and Scut Week.

Polly Adams Welts Kaufman, class of 1951

Polly 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.  

Ann Martha Chmielewski Anderson, class of 1959

The daughter of Alice O'Connor Chmielewski '28, Ann begins her own interview by relating childhood memories of accompanying her mother to Pembroke College reunions. She then describes her social and academic life as as a student herself, a "city girl" who later lived on campus.

Romaine Ahlstrom, class of 1962

In Part 1, Romaine discusses the many moves her family made as child; her reasons for choosing Pembroke; the difficulties living in the sexist culture of the 1950s; her personal challenges at Pembroke; and the curriculum of Brown/Pembroke at the time.

Elissa Lynne Beron Arons, class of 1966

In Part 1 of this interview, Elissa discusses her enthusiasm for college life, having entered Pembroke after her junior year of high school. She describes the social expectations of the time and how they began to change; her experience applying to medical schools as one of few female pre-med students; her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement; the creation of the Pembroke Pandas, the first college women's ice hockey team; and Posture Pictures.

Susan Virginia Cowell, class of 1969

Susan discusses her reasons for choosing Pembroke; her expectations for campus culture; her roommate's struggles with class differences; the social life of Pembroke; her own her peers' efforts to protest the Girls School culture, including stealing the Chimes, and a march to the Dean's house; her feelings about Pembroke's merger with Brown; the effect of national student movements on curriculum reform; and political actions including a sit-in at City Hall, the 1968 black student walkout, and students turning their backs on Henry Kissinger at Commencement.