Peggy J. McKearney, class of 1975

Peggy J. McKearney, class of 1975

Peggy J. McKearney was born in Madison, Wisconsin. She grew up mostly in Connecticut, and then in Massachusetts. Her father was a school teacher, and her mother was a stay-at-home mom before becoming a secretary and then going back to school to earn a Master’s degree in library science. Attending high school in Massachusetts, McKearney fell in love with the Boston Bruins and decided to attend Brown University because she could play ice hockey on the first college women’s ice hockey team in the country.

Peggy J. McKearney begins Part 1 of her interview with a brief description of her family background, including her childhood in Connecticut and Massachusetts. She says that her love of the Boston Bruins determined her decision to attend Brown University in the first year after its merger with Pembroke College because Pembroke had established the country’s first intercollegiate women’s ice hockey team.

McKearney describes the strong Pembroke influence that still survived on campus immediately following the merger in 1971. She also fondly remembers Spring Weekend and comments on the large amount of drugs and alcohol on campus. McKearney discusses her time as an ice hockey player in detail and explains the blatant inequity between men’s and women’s sports at Brown. She also mentions social life on campus, relationships between male and female students, and relationships between female students and male professors.

McKearney also talks about her work on the Brown Daily Herlad, taking photos and writing sports stories, and recalls the diversity of the student population. She considers what her expectations were for life after graduation and details her path to her current position as business writer for King Arthur Flour. She speculates on life after retirement and goes on to describe her volunteer work and her secondary position as reiki practitioner. She concludes Part 1 with gratitude for her time at Brown.

Part 2 is an unplanned portion of the interview, added after McKearney looked through some yearbooks. Lasting only five minutes, this part includes more memories of the inequities between men’s and women’s sports at Brown, and Mckearney emphasizes the importance of Title IX on women’s sports.    

Part 1

Part 2
Recorded on Apr 18, 2016

Alumnae Hall, Brown University

Interviewed by Whitney Pape