In this interview, speaking nearly fifty years after graduation from Pembroke College, Katherine Virginia Faulkner begins Part 1 of her interview by describing the intellectual difficulty she encountered in her transition from public schools in Henderson, North Carolina. She explains choosing to attend Pembroke for the different culture it fostered compared to that in North Carolina, as well as how she decided to concentrate in psychology.
Faulkner recalls participating in student government in addition to the Pembroke Christian Association. She elaborates on the nonsectarian and humanitarian nature of the Christian Association, and its significance to peace movements on campus. Faulkner goes on to remember having some coeducational classes on the Brown University campus and little career guidance. She says that marriage was her most important goal at that time, and describes auditing college classes and volunteering at the New York Infirmary for Women and Children in order to stay busy after marriage. She identifies Deans Margaret Shove Morriss and Eva Mooar as significant influences on her time at Pembroke.
Faulkner describes life after graduation, teaching at a convent in New Jersey for two years, getting married, and moving to Brooklyn, New York. She explains the need to be intellectually challenged, the relationships she formed with other women, participating in the Junior League, and becoming Vice President of the Junior League.
Also in Part 1, Faulkner recalls the death of her first husband which caused her to take on her first paid position as Assistant to the Dean of Admissions at Sarah Lawrence College, and mentions leaving that position to marry her second husband. She fondly recounts the paths she took through her second paid position as Assistant to the Vice President in Development at Pace University, and her next opportunity as Director of Development at the Whitney Museum of American Art, which led to her career as Director of the Art Program with PepsiCo.
In Part 2, Faulkner continues to elaborate on her career with PepsiCo and discusses her experience of general equality between genders in all of her positions. She considers how her choices concerning careers and children would have been different if the Women’s Movement had come earlier. She further reflects on the Women’s Movement and growing opportunities for women in the 1980s. Faulkner concludes by explaining that she and her children are not pronounces feminists but that they live feminism and that society in the 1980s was not made up of dependent women.
West Chester County, New York