Speakers

1910s

1910s

Interviews collected from alumnae of the 1910s record some of the earliest first-person accounts of female students at Brown. These women describe their academic and social experiences in the Women’s College as well as their careers and families.

Image: Josephine Scholfield Gate, 1917. The class of 1900 erected a gate in memory of their classmate, Josephine Scholfield, who died in September 1900. Originally located on the south side of Cushing Street, the gate was later moved to Bowen Street in back of Andrews Hall. Image source: Brun Mael.

1920s

1920s

Interviews from women who attended Brown University in 1920s include discussions of the different social experiences of boarders and day students; the separation of the Women's and Men's Colleges; inspiring professors and courses; Dean Margaret Shove Morriss, who arrived in 1923;  dormitory life; social events; and the Women's College's name change to Pembroke College in 1928. The women also share stories about their families, local communities, and their lives before and after college.

1940s

1940s

Interviews from women who attended Brown in the 1940s describe student life during World War II, and include several stories about balancing coursework with paid employment.

Image: War Activities, 1940s. World War II introduced new courses and apprenticeships to the women of Pembroke College. Students also experienced accelerated curricula, war bond drives, and the merged publication of the Brown and Pembroke newspapers as the Brown Herald-Record. Image source: University Archives Photograph Collection

1950s

1950s

Interviews from alumnae of the 1950s include recollections of Nancy Duke Lewis, who served as Dean from 1950-1960; academic and extracurricular activities; and social life and dating at Brown.

1960s

1960s

Interviews from the women who attended Pembroke College in 1960s include discussions of the changing social expectations of the times; the Civil Rights movement; institutional inequalities between men and women; social culture on campus; attitudes toward sex, birth control, and abortion; creation of the Pembroke Pandas women's ice hockey team in 1964; the effect of national student movements; and political action on campus. The women also share stories about their families, local communities, and their lives before and after college. 

1970s

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.

1980s

1980s

In their interviews, alumnae from the 1980s speak about their individual experiences at Brown, as well as their participation in the broader women's movement, with special attention paid to race and sexuality, as well as gender.

1930s

1930s

In their interviews, alumnae of the 1930s recall elements of their experiences as both “city girls” and “dorm girls.” They discuss Pembroke College’s academic curriculum, mandatory physical education and chapel, the effects of the Great Depression, and student traditions. The women also share stories about their families, local communities, and careers.

1990s

1990s

In their interviews, alumnae from the 1990s discuss race relations, protests, and student activities. Interviews include reunion groups, individual class members, and faculty members.

Image: Women from the class of 1991 marching through the Van Wickle Gates

Reunions

Reunions

In these group interviews typically conducted with members of the 25th and 50th reunion classes, alumnae recall academics, extracurricular activities, and social life, as well as larger social and political issues that were present during their time at Brown or Pembroke. 

Image: Brown Unviersity, Reunion Weekend 2017

Jeannette Dora Black, class of 1930

Jeanette Dora Black graduated from Pembroke College with an A.B. in Political Science in 1930 and received the Anne Crosby Emery Alumnae Felowship to continue her studies at Radcliffe College. Following graduate school, she worked for the World Peace Organization in Boston and New York City before returning to Providence in 1937 to work at the John Carter Brown Library. Black edited and produced the commentary for the two-volume Blathwayt Atlas of 17th century English colonial maps published by Brown University Press.

Hilda Antoinette Calabro, class of 1945

Hilda Antoinette Calabro was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island with her three sisters. She attended Elmhurst Academy before going to Pembroke College. She graduated in the class of 1945 with an A.B. in French and Italian. She briefly taught romance languages at North Providence High School, then received an A.M. from Brown and a Ph.d. from Boston College, before teaching education at the University of Rhode Island. She died September 30, 1994.

Ann Martha Chmielewski, class of 1959

Ann Martha Chmielewski was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1938, the daughter of Alice Elizabeth O'Connor '28, a social worker, and Alexander Chmielewski, who worked as Banking Commissioner for the State of Rhode Island. Her family moved from Providence to Cranston at age twelve, and Chmielewski graduated from Cranston High in 1955. She attended Pembroke College for two years as a commuter student before moving on campus.

Carol R. Dannenberg, class of 1966

Carol R. Dannenberg was born in Arlington, Massachusetts where she attended public school with her three sisters and brother until she moved to Providence, Rhode Island to attend Pembroke College. After graduating with her A.B. in American civilization and history, Dannenberg moved to Washington D.C. where she worked for the United States government in the Poverty Program. After three years, in D.C. she moved back to Boston where she taught high school social studies for eight years.

Cecile Lena Kantrowitz Israel, class of 1930

Cecile Lena Kantowitz Israel was born in 1910 in New Jersey, but spent her adolescence and young adulthood in Providence, Rhode Island. Educated at Classical High School, she attended Pembroke College in the late 1920s. Israel showed an interest in languages, becoming fluent in French and German, as well as Yiddish which was spoken in her home. She was a founder and board member of the Pembroke-Brown Debating Club and received a number of scholastic accolades.

Virginia Belle Macmillan, class of 1938

Virginia Belle Macmillan was born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island in 1916. While a student at Pembroke College, she served as President of the Student Government Association and became a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Macmillan earned an A.B. in Latin from Brown in 1938, summa cum laude.

Isabel Ross Abbott, class of 1922

Isabel Ross Abbott was born on January 12, 1901 in Providence, Rhode Island, to parents of Scottish and English origins. She attended Rochambeau Avenue School and Hope High School. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa with an A.B. from Brown University in 1922, and received an A.M. from Brown the following year. She taught at Providence Technical High School from 1923-1925. She attended graduate school at Bryn Mawr College, from which she graduated with a Ph.D. in 1937. She was honored with many awards and fellowships throughout her lifetime and served on a wide variety of academic committees.