In this interview, Josephine Mary Russo, class of 1938, explains that she had wanted to attend college since the age of ten. When she came of age, her parents required her to remain in her home state of Rhode Island, so she chose to attend Pembroke College. During the interview, Russo discusses the Great Depression and the importance of working while she was in school because jobs were so scarce at the time. Russo also recalls taking college boards and academic requirements, such as physical education, in addition to compulsory Chapel. Toward the end of the interview, Russo addresses living in a dorm with curfews, as well as dress codes, and activities, like formal dinners, which accompanied living on campus. She credits Professor Sinclair Armstrong who had a profound influence on her time at Pembroke with her interest in history.
In addition to her life on campus, Russo also discusses her life after graduation and recollects being one of the first married women to be permitted to work at the Brown Library. She details her approval of the Pembroke-Brown Merger and states that the two colleges collaborated so extensively that the change was only in the name. Throughout the interview, Russo emphasizes how the Great Depression affected society and Pembroke College.
Newport, Rhode Island