Interviews by Topic: Brown Daily Herald

25th Reunion, class of 1985

This interview with members of the Brown University class of 1985 summarizes the economically, socially, and racially diverse undergraduate experiences of Frances S. Lee, Suzanne Beth Goldberg, Margaret E. Rosen, Karen Smith, Allyson Tucker, Katherine Sabin Melchoir, and Jill Anne Hereford, at their 25th reunion.

First, the interviewees are asked why they chose to attend Brown and what their thoughts and experiences were concerning the “new curriculum” that abolished course requirements and allowed for a more open exploration of subjects.

Carol R. Dannenberg, class of 1966

In this interview, Carol R. Dannenberg begins by explaining her decision to attend Pembroke College. She discusses dating life, and student/professor relationships, as well as her involvement with student government, tension over curfews, the lack of role models on campus, and being involved in the Peace Corps during summer break.

Charlotte Ferguson, class of 1924

In this interview, Ferguson tells why she chose to attend Pembroke College over Wellesley College; how following a woman she admired, she wanted to become a Boston insurance agent; and that she never felt she needed to be liberated. She discusses the remnants of Victorianism; marching for suffrage before age ten, and always having had a female doctor. She recalls the rules and regulations of Pembroke; mandatory chapel and the speeches given by Deans Allinson and Morriss; and the Brown/Pembroke merger which she opposed.

Charlotte Lowney, class of 1957

In this interview, Charlotte Lowney, looking back on a 40-year career with Pembroke College and Brown University, details her upward trajectory through the ranks of the institution’s administration, beginning with her position as the secretary to Brown President Henry Merrit Wriston. In 1962, she became the director of career placement at Brown, during both an exciting and tumultuous period on the Pembroke-Brown campus.

Clara Elizabeth Goodale, class of 1939

Clara Elizabeth Goodale ‘39 is the niece of Nettie Goodale Murdock who was a member of Pembroke College’s first class in 1895. This interview captures the memories Murdock shared with her niece of her time at Pembroke.

Doris Madeline Hopkins, class of 1928

In Part 1 of this interview, Doris Madeline Hopkins begins by discussing her early education and family life in Rhode Island. She talks about the expectations for “nice girls” at Pembroke College in the 1920s, about the curriculum, and the classes she took. She talks about 1920s fashion, dancing and bootleg liquor, including clubs around the city where students could go to drink. Hopkins talks about reading for classes and getting books from the public library when they were unavailable elsewhere. She also mentions her friendship with Alice Elizabeth O'Connor.

Javette D. Pinkney, class of 1980

In this interview, Javette D. Pinkney begins by explaining the academic initiative and activist spirit that brought her to Brown. She fondly remembers a “feeling of community,” and campus dating, in spite of instances of racism. She describes her involvement in a number of campus activities and social groups and recalls spearheading the College Venture Program - a pilot program financed by the Braitmayer Foundation to help students who needed or wanted to drop out of college temporarily.

Judith Weiss, class of 1944

In this interview, Judith Weiss, undergraduate class of 1944, discusses her decision to attend Pembroke College and describes her roles as assistant editor on the Pembroke Record and Brun Mael, and her participation at the Brown News Bureau. She also mentions her involvement in the National Youth Organization, the Neighborhood Youth Corps, and her positions at the Providence Journal, Hartford Courant, and the Newark Daily Newsletter.

Justice Gaines, class of 2016

In this interview, Justice Gaines, Brown University class of 2016, discusses her undergraduate career at Brown and highlights her activism on campus.

Gaines begins by sharing some background on her high school experiences participating in theatre of the oppressed and JROTC in New Jersey. She explains choosing to attend Brown on the recommendation of her mother and describes how she found her friend groups on campus. She mentions participating in Gravediggers Poetry Collective and the Third World Center, now the Brown Center for Students of Color.

Katharine Curtis Pierce, class of 1962

On the occasion of her 50th Reunion, Katharine Curtis Pierce looks back on the highlights of her time at Pembroke College. She begins by explaining her expectations for Pembroke and the “finishing school for Episcopal girls” that she found in its stead. Pierce talks about dorm life, her dissatisfaction with that atmosphere, her time pursuing social work, as well as her work resettling refugees in Vietnam at the National Council of Churches.

Kristie E. Miller, class of 1966

Kristie E. Miller, an award-winning biographer, begins her interview discussing the controversy surrounding her decision to attend college. Her mother, a supporter of Joseph McCarthy, always discouraged her academic interest and wanted her to go to a politically conservative school, while her father wanted her to go to a prestigious university. In Part 1, Miller reflects on the rules and regulations at Pembroke, as well as the relationship between Brown students and Pembroke students.

Lydia L. English, class of 1985

Lydia L. English came to Brown in 1981 as a resumed undergraduate education student, after having worked in banking in the U.S. Virgin Islands for eight years. In this interview, English states that her initial motivation to receive a liberal arts education was her newfound interest “in how cultures interact,” gathered from her extensive work in the Caribbean. English talks extensively on the challenge of juggling an adult, professional, career life with an undergraduate education, particularly with regards to managing finances, as she supported herself throughout.

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.

Roswell Johnson, M.D., Faculty

In this interview, Roswell Johnson, MD, discusses his time at Brown University as the director of health services in the 1960s and the controversy surrounding his willingness to prescribe birth control to Pembroke students in 1965.

Shira Buchsbaum, class of 2019

In this interview, Shira Buchsbaum, Brown University class of 2019, describes her experiences as a graduate student and future librarian during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Susan A. Semonoff, class of 1968

In this interview, Susan A. Semonoff begins by talking about her family, her choice to attend Pembroke College, and the challenge of the academics once she arrived. She discusses her various classes and the tumultuous atmosphere at Brown/Pembroke in the sixties (The Vietnam War, the changing attitude towards women, and what inspired her to become president of the Student Government Association). Semonoff also discusses at length the social life on campus.