Delores A. Bennett, class of 1997

Delores A. Bennett, class of 1997

Delores A. Bennett was born on December 27, 1974 in Jamaica. She is the third daughter of her parents who believed deeply in the value of good education and relocated the family to Hartford, Connecticut, to obtain that opportunity. With the help of her mentor, Judy Saffron, Bennett decided to attend Brown University. She began her undergraduate career in 1993, decided to concentrate in chemical engineering, while also maintaining a job with the Alumni Center and participating as a member of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.

In this interview conducted as a result of the 2018 all-class Black Alumni Reunion, Delores A. Bennett, Brown University class of 1997, discusses her path to becoming Vice President of Cloud Sales at Oracle.

To begin, Bennett reflects on her educational experiences that resulted from her move to Connecticut from Jamaica in 1989. She remembers some of the cultural differences and challenges she faced by entering a completely different educational system, but highlights the mentorship she received from her teacher and fellow Brown graduate, Judy Saffron. Bennett explains that Saffron led her to a Brown information session in Connecticut and also accompanied Bennett on her first tour of the campus after she was accepted.

Bennett mentions some of the scholarships she received that allowed her to attend Brown and fondly remembers the Third World Transition Program that initiated her time on campus. She discusses the rigor of her chemical engineering concentration, the race and gender disparities in the program, and her involvement in Delta Sigma Theta. She also briefly describes an instance of racism on campus.

The interviewee also details her life after Brown, specifically her time at IBM where she began as a project manager in microelectronics in 1997. She highlights earning a master of science in material engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and her thesis that awarded her her first United States patent, as well as her MBA in finance, accounting, and entrepreneurship from Chicago Booth. Throughout this interview, Bennett touches upon challenges for Black women in STEM and concludes her interview by summing up those thoughts and thanking Brown for its open curriculum.

Recorded on Dec 10, 2018

Southbury, Connecticut 

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