Interviews by Topic: Vietnam War

In part 1 of this interview, Alison discusses her childhood, her decision to attend Pembroke, and the Pembroke experience. In part 2 she discusses hazing at Pembroke, her summers while at college, working in New York City, her original interest in the State Department, and her time in Ghana. In part 3, Alison talks about her time in the Belgian Congo. In part 4, she discusses her deployment to British Guyana, gender discrimination, and her decision to volunteer for Vietnam. In part 5, she talks about her opposition to some of the tactics used in Vietnam.

This interview with members of the Pembroke College class of 1967 documents the undergraduate experiences of Carol Lemlein, Susan Haas, Brenda Hubbard, Karen Wolk, Sharon Drager, and Judith Minno, at their 50th reunion.

50th Reunion, class of 1965

This interview with twenty members of the Pembroke College class of 1965 captures the political, social, and academic issues on campus as remembered by Nancy E. Kilpatrick, Pamela B. Edwards, Elinor B. Bachrach, Pamela Thompson, Nancy L. Buc, Kay Berthold, Anne Doswell, Molly Perkins, Jean C. Hay, Claudia T. Nash, Elizabeth A. Glass, Jessica Loring, Diana L. Newton, Virginia A. Newton, Nancy R. Rockwell, Marian H. Weaver, Sylvia A. Welch, Anne E. Rodems, Judith E. Woll, and Nancy H. Steinhaus, at their 50th reunion.

50th Reunion, class of 1967

This interview with members of the Pembroke College class of 1967 documents the undergraduate experiences of Carol Lemlein, Susan Haas, Brenda Hubbard, Karen Wolk, Sharon Drager, and Judith Minno, at their 50th reunion.

50th Reunion, class of 1968

This interview with members of the Pembroke College class of 1968 documents the undergraduate experiences of Virginia R. Heinbockel, Sally R. Kusnitz, Bernicestine E. McLeod, Helaine Benson Palmer, Elizabeth S. Remage, Carole L. Sayle, Rochelle R. Sender, Jean K. Trescott, Nancy B. Turck, and Ancelin M. Vogt, at their 50th reunion.

50th Reunion, class of 1969

This interview with members of the Pembroke College class of 1969 documents the undergraduate experiences of Kathryn H. Au, Rita Ann Chao, Maria Garcia, Kathryn Troyer, and Lucy Jane Wollaeger, at their 50th reunion.

Alison Palmer, class of 1953

In part 1 of this interview, Alison Palmer discusses her childhood, her decision to attend Pembroke College, and the Pembroke experience.

In part 2 she discusses hazing at Pembroke, her summers while at college, working in New York City, her original interest in the State Department, and her time in Ghana.

In part 3, Palmer talks about her time in the Belgian Congo.

In part 4, she discusses her deployment to British Guyana, gender discrimination, and her decision to volunteer for Vietnam.

Anna Peña Hass, class of 1917

In the first part of the interview, Anna Peña Hass discusses early life on her family’s farm and the decision to attend Pembroke despite wanting to get married and become a nurse. Hass describes the courses she took in her two years at Pembroke and some of the formative people she met during that time. In the second part of the interview, Hass elucidates the Brown dress code and describes political events, life in Cuba, and her arrest. 

Black Alumnae at their 25th reunion, class of 1968

This oral history features three members of the class of the Pembroke College class of 1968: Marcia D. Lloyd, an artist and professor of Painting at the Massachusetts College of Art; Bernicestine E. McLeod, an information management consultant; and Sandra L. Richards, a professor of African American Studies and Theatre at Northwestern University.

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.

Constance Worthington, class of 1968

In this interview, Constance Worthington begins by talking about her family’s involvement in Brown University, and her eventual decision to transfer to Pembroke College. She then discusses her challenging time at Brown being a student, single mother, and a widow, and what it was like raising a son later diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.

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.

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. 

Jeree Palmer-Bechkham, class of 1983

In this interview, Jeree Palmer-Beckham begins by discussing her time in Providence, where she lived with her first husband, and explaining her completion of a Brown University degree in theatre arts through the Resumed Education Program (RUE).  Palmer explains how attending Brown impacted her life in theatre, particularly the production “Shades of Brown,” which led her back to the New York theatre scene. She discusses various productions she has worked on in New York.  

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.

Marjorie Alice Jones, class of 1954

Marjorie Alice Jones speaks as a member of the silent generation and considers the busy, active life she’s lead despite the fact that nobody expected anything from the women of her generation. She begins Part 1 of her interview by discussing her family background and reasons for attending Pembroke College. She describes her experience as a transfer student and speaks on professors and academics, considering the closed attitude towards women in academia.

Miriam Dale Pichey, class of 1972

Miriam Dale Pichey’s interview is an energetic insight into the politics of student life at Brown University in the late 1960s and early 1970s. She describes both the campus atmosphere of gendered social rules and struggling for equal representation after the Pembroke-Brown merger, and the broader political environment of student activism during the Vietnam War and Civil Rights movement. She begins her interview discussing her family background and reasons for coming to the East coast to attend Brown.

Phyllis A. Kollmer, class of 1966

In this interview, Phyllis A. Kollmer discusses the general course requirements for obtaining a degree from Pembroke College in Brown University as well as some of her favorite courses, including Ancient History, Classical History, and Economics. She mentions her musical contributions to the Chattertocks and the social dynamics of coeducational courses. Additionally, Kollmer details the different rules for men and women living on campus and how an infraction involving a visit to a fraternity house resulted in her and her boyfriend being expelled for one semester.

Rita Ann Chao, class of 1969

In this interview, Rita Ann Chao, class of 1969, discusses growing up in Vietnam, arriving in Maine, studying applied math at Brown University, and her career in software development, management consulting, and organization transformation. 

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.

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.

Wendy Edwards, Faculty

In this interview, Chair and Professor of Visual Arts, Wendy Edwards, describes her journey to becoming a professional painter and discusses her 40-year tenure at Brown University.

Edwards begins by briefly mentioning her parents’ educational backgrounds and then detailing her early life living on a farm in Virginia outside of Washington, DC, and visiting her grandmother in New York City. She describes the influence these two different experiences had on her interest in art and explains why she decided to attend the Philadelphia College of Art, now the University of the Arts.