50th Reunion, class of 1966

50th Reunion, class of 1966

The Pembroke College class of 1966 graduated during Brown University’s bicentennial under the leadership of Dean Rosemary Pierrel. They were the last class to graduate under Brown University President Barnaby Keeney’s tenure. During their time on campus, new dormitories were built on the Pembroke campus in addition to the Rockefeller Library on Prospect Street. Nationally, Lyndon Johnson was conducting his first full term as President. Television shows Tom and Jerry and A Charlie Brown Christmas made their debuts as the United States sent thousands more troops to Vietnam. 

This interview with members of the Pembroke College class of 1966 captures the undergraduate experiences of Kristie E. Miller, Ulle Viiroja, Carol R. Dannenberg, Phyllis A. Kollmer, Lisa S. Manfull, Beverly Heafitz, and Leah W. Sprague, at their 50th reunion.

The interviewees begin by introducing themselves with synopses of their lives after graduating from Pembroke, including primarily geographic and employment details. They discuss the difficulties many of them faced as single, married, or divorced women in the workforce of the 1970s before recalling what drew them to Pembroke.

In speaking of their experiences, the alumnae briefly mention instances of sexual harassment between professors and women students, though no one is specifically named and no details are provided. Additionally, they recall professors who were particularly engaging and influential. They also share stories of their social lives including parties and dating.

Scattered throughout the interview are conversations about the expectations of women, more detail about the interviewee’s experiences in the workforce, and their unquestioning acceptance of the social conventions, which they subsequently challenged during the interview.

Recorded on May 28, 2016

Pembroke Hall, Brown University

Interviewed by Whitney Pape