Hope Ballinger begins her interview by explaining that her aunt’s graduation from Pembroke College in 1902, and her desire to become a nurse, influenced her decision to also attend Pembroke. She says that as a city girl – a female day student who attended Pembroke but did not live on campus, she missed out on many student activities, and notes that the Avon Theatre and the Wayland Drug Store were the most popular gathering spots. She fondly recalls Magel Wilder’s anatomy class as the most interesting class at Pembroke.
Ballinger explains that the accelerated trimester program that was instituted at the start of World War II affected the nursing program and resulted in her exclusion from student activities senior year. She remembers May Day, Dean Margaret Shove Morriss, Physical Education Director Bessie Rudd, and the swimming test required for graduation. She briefly mentions having been a stay-at-home mother for seventeen years before returning to her nursing career, and remembers being a member of the Glee Club in passing. She concludes Part 1 by recalling how difficult her courses were and downplaying her college degree at work.
In Part 2, Ballinger notes the sparsity of nursing schools in Rhode Island and reiterates how difficult the programs are. She goes on to discuss the nature of the annual alumni luncheons and quickly describes Dean Eva Mooar’s personality. She briefly talks about sports played and observed by students, and concludes by mentioning what her sons were doing at the time of the interview.
John Hay Library, Brown University