Margaret Waterman, class of 1927

Margaret Waterman, class of 1927

Margaret Waterman was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the fifth of six children. Her father, Lewis Anthony Waterman, was a graduate of Brown University and her mother, Katherine Minerva Utter, was a graduate of Vassar College. Waterman graduated from the Lincoln School and attended Pembroke College for one year. She studied at Smith College for two years before completing her senior year at Pembroke and graduating cum laude with an A.B. in social science.

In this interview, Margaret Waterman discusses her decision to attend Pembroke College – known then as the Women’s College in Brown University – for one year, her transfer to Smith College, and her return to Pembroke for her senior year. She mentions medical care in the early twentieth century when she discusses her diagnoses of swollen glands and her father’s fatal battle with pneumonia. She speaks extensively of her time in athletics at Pembroke, primarily on the basketball and tennis teams.  She also recalls interacting with men on campus and discusses mid-1920s fashion. Waterman frames much of her experiences on and off campus in terms of the Great Depression.

Listeners of this interview should be aware that Waterman makes antifeminist, anti-Semitic, and racist comments while discussing life and politics in the 1980s at the time of the interview. These comments occur about midway through the interview.  The interview was conducted by a Brown University undergraduate student for a course titled “Studying the New Woman.” 

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4
Recorded on Mar 11, 1988

Sarah Doyle Women’s Center, Brown University

Interviewed by Tracy Corrington