50th Reunion, class of 1968

50th Reunion, class of 1968

The Pembroke College class of 1968, entered campus in 1964, within weeks of the Civil Rights Act becoming law and while the Vietnam War raged overseas. The alumnae enjoyed coed extracurricular activities on the Brown and Pembroke campuses, participated in protests against the war, and actively worked to abolish Pembroke’s parietal rules. They graduated under Brown University President Ray Heffner and Pembroke College Dean Rosemary Pierrel.

This interview with members of the Pembroke College class of 1968 documents the undergraduate experiences of Virginia R. Heinbockel, Sally R. Kusnitz, Bernicestine E. McLeod, Helaine Benson Palmer, Elizabeth S. Remage, Carole L. Sayle, Rochelle R. Sender, Jean K. Trescott, Nancy B. Turck, and Ancelin M. Vogt, at their 50th reunion.

The interviewees begin by sharing brief personal backgrounds, primarily related to why they chose to attend Pembroke. Then they move on to discuss their experiences living under the parietal rules that Pembroke enforced, including curfews, dress codes, and dormitory life. They also mention that varying degrees to which they experiences gender inequality on campus. To these ends, the interviewees remember Brown’s director of health services, Dr. Roswell Johnson’s willingness to prescribe birth control on campus, as well as their experiences with birth control and abortion off campus.

The conversation then turns back to the topic of dormitory life. Interviewees also share some brief recollections of the assassination of Martin Luther King Junior, the Vietnam War, and particularly the draft during that era. The group concludes the interview by mentioning some final thoughts on racial diversity on campus, their appreciation for their degrees, and noting their professional paths.       

Please note that Bernicestine E. McLeod and Ancelin M. Vogt have contributed additional interviews to the Pembroke Center Oral History Project. Roswell Johnson also contributed an interview regarding the distribution of birth control at Brown University. Locate these interviews by searching the interviewee’s name in the search box on the right.

Recorded on May 26, 2018

Pembroke Hall, Brown University

Interviewed by Mary Murphy, Nancy L. Buc '65 Pembroke Center Archivist