Interviews by Decade: 1970s

Image: Eileen Rudden, 1972. Caption: "Red shoes, bicycle, and bubbling laugh, Eileen Rudden is alive. Punting with a crossword puzzle or working with Women of Brown United, her humor remains. Her efforts for merger and equal admissions have contributed to a new status for women at Brown." Image source: Liber Brunensis.

Socialist Feminist Caucus at the 40th Anniversary of Sojourner House, class of 1970s

This interview with Brown University alumnae Tracy E. Fitzpatrick (1976), Catherine J. Lewis (1976), Linda M. Kramer (1977), and Christina Crosby (Ph.D., 1982), chronicles their experiences in the Socialist Feminist Caucus and the founding of Sojourner House, a domestic violence agency based in Providence, at its 40th anniversary celebration.

Susan E. Graber, class of 1971

Susan E. Graber begins Part 1 her interview by sharing some family background information such as her mother’s college education and the expectation that her children would also attend college. She explains why she chose to attend Pembroke College and recalls some difficulties she faced as a woman pursuing science. Graber remembers her ambivalence about pursuing graduate school and the overall assumption that Pembroke graduates would go on to a career or graduate work.

Lucile K. Wawzonek, class of 1972

In Part 1 of this interview, Lucile K. Wawzonek discusses changing attitudes towards formal gender divisions on campus during the Pembroke-Brown merger. She begins by reflecting on the regulations at Brown in the late 1960s, including the male caller system and curfews. She speaks on the housing lottery and the advent of coed dorms, which she feels led to a looser social structure, especially in terms of dating.

Gail Y. Mitchell, class of 1973

Gail Y. Mitchell begins Part 1 of this interview by discussing her sheltered upbringing in a very religious household, her desire to attend a school where she could feel more independent, and her decision to attend Brown University. Mitchell talks about working as a student assistant over the summer, and about living at Pembroke and in the dormitories there. 

Santina L. Siena, class of 1973

In this interview, Santina L. Siena begins with a discussion of her life before college and her reasons for choosing to attend Brown University. She describes the dormitories that she lived in, the requirements at Brown, and the dramatic changes in relationships between men and women during her four years of college. She also discusses becoming a doctor and the lasting friendships she has sustained with her classmates.

Karen E. McLaurin, class of 1973 - First Interview

In her first interview conducted in 1994, Karen E. McLaurin begins by discussing her decision to attend Brown University, and her determination to succeed. She talks about a summer program she attended that was specifically for students who were deemed less likely to succeed at Brown. McLaurin also recalls minority students at Brown, their importance to the community and the college, as well as her experiences as an African-American woman at Brown. She discusses the various faculty members who she knew as a student and shares some of the difficulties she had with them.

Karen E. McLaurin, class of 1973 - Second Interview

In her second interview recorded during the 2018 Black Alumni Reunion, Karen E. McLaurin, class of 1973, briefly recounts highlights of her time at Brown University. To begin, McLaurin mentions growing up in Roxbury and then Rockland, Massachusetts, attending public school through the seventh grade, and attending Notre Dame Academy. She notes her volunteerism with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Congress of Racial Equality CORE, and the Black Panther Party of Boston. 

Barbara E. Ehrlich, class of 1974

This interview was donated to the Pembroke Center Oral History Project by Lily Cohen, class of 2012. Cohen conducted an interview with her mother, Barbara E. Ehrlich, class of 1974, to discuss the history and future of women in science. At the time of the interview in 2017, Cohen was a scientist at University of Alaska – Fairbanks and Ehrlich was Professor of Pharmacology and of Cellular and Molecular Physiology at Yale University. Cohen was considering leaving the sciences because of glaring gender inequities.

Ferelene Bailey, class of 1974

Ferelene "Nan" Bailey begins by discussing her childhood, the benefits of living overseas during her childhood, her experience applying to Brown University, and her expectations of her experience. She spends a significant amount of time discussing the various and bountiful activist groups she participated in, and more broadly, social turmoil during the seventies surrounding issues such as the Vietnam War and birth control.

Peggy J. McKearney, class of 1975

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.

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