In this interview, Carol Ann Markovitz begins by describing her involvement at Pembroke outside the classroom, at Brown Youth Guidance—an outreach organization, at the Pendleton-Bradley Hospital, and at the Pembroke College school newspaper, the Pembroke Record. She then tells of her dissatisfaction with the social life on campus, her very close group of friends and their importance to her, the norms of dating, and her decision to study abroad junior year at the Sorbonne, as one of only three women to go abroad. She describes the pervasive expectation of an immediate marriage following graduation, and of the lack of support for continuing one’s education or choosing to work fulltime instead of raising children. She tells the story of going before the student Honor Council after being caught drinking in a dorm, her class’s rebellion against dress code regulations, and Pembroke’s emphasis on feminine manners and posture. She explains her misgivings with the Pembroke-Brown merger, citing the belief that single-sex activities and dorms have their significance. Moving on to marriage and life after graduation, Markovitz tells of her decision to raise her two children with the idea that both sexes can “do everything,” but also reflects on her feeling that she missed out on aspects of their lives, being so focused on work. She describes her community involvement with the Brown Club, the Jewish community, the League of Women Voters, and the Women Lawyers Association. Markovitz closes the interview with her personal takeaway from Pembroke: that as students they could do anything and be anything they wanted to, even though caught in the period’s socio-cultural system.
Carol Ann Markovitz, class of 1962
Interviewed by Eve Raskin