Isabel Ross Abbott, class of 1922

Isabel Ross Abbott, class of 1922

Isabel Ross Abbott was born on January 12, 1901 in Providence, Rhode Island, to parents of Scottish and English origins. She attended Rochambeau Avenue School and Hope High School. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa with an A.B. from Brown University in 1922, and received an A.M. from Brown the following year. She taught at Providence Technical High School from 1923-1925. She attended graduate school at Bryn Mawr College, from which she graduated with a Ph.D. in 1937. She was honored with many awards and fellowships throughout her lifetime and served on a wide variety of academic committees.

Isabel Ross Abbot begins this interview by describing her parents’ lives in Nova Scotia before she was born. In Part 1, she discusses the family’s move to Providence, Rhode Island and her childhood there, including attending elementary school and happy memories of Christmas and sledding down the hills of Providence.

In Part 2, Abbot speaks about her middle and high school education at Rochambeau Avenue School and Hope High School, respectively; her impressions of World War I, including her brothers’ enlistment; the employment she maintained to pay for her Pembroke tuition; and the first courses that she took there.

In Part 3, Abbott discusses student activities that she participated in while at Pembroke; graduation from the college; dating and marriage; her first job teaching at Providence’s Technical High School; her Masters education at Brown University; and beginning graduate school at Bryn Mawr.

In Part 4, Abbott continues to talk about her graduate school experience at Bryn Mawr, including receiving a prestigious fellowship from the American Association for University Women.

This interview was conducted over the course of four different days.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4
Recorded on Sep 26, 1987

Washington, DC (Parts 1 and 2)

Interviewed by Nancy E. Foster