Speakers

Penelope A. Baskerville, class of 1968

Penelope "Penny" A. Baskerville was born in South Orange, New Jersey. She arrived at Pembroke College as one of six African-American women in her class, the largest class group to date. At Pembroke she studied German and helped found the Afro-American Society, a social group that helped to develop a network for Ivy League African-American students. She lived almost all her life in New Jersey, raising two children, working in personnel administration, and volunteering extensively within her community. Baskerville died on July 7, 2014 at age 67.

Lillian Dorothy Beals, class of 1918

Lillian Dorothy Beals received her A.B. from Brown University in 1918. After college she worked in the estimating department of a jewelry manufacturer in Providence. She attended Johnson & Wales Secretarial School run by Miss Johnson and Miss Wales on Olney Street in Providence where she took shorthand and typewriting. Beals later married and raised two children.

Delores A. Bennett, class of 1997

Delores A. Bennett was born on December 27, 1974 in Jamaica. She is the third daughter of her parents who believed deeply in the value of good education and relocated the family to Hartford, Connecticut, to obtain that opportunity. With the help of her mentor, Judy Saffron, Bennett decided to attend Brown University. She began her undergraduate career in 1993, decided to concentrate in chemical engineering, while also maintaining a job with the Alumni Center and participating as a member of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.

Lillian S. Berberian, class of 1957

Lillian S. Berberian was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1935 to Agavne and Misak Berberian, Armenian natives who were proprietors of several small neighborhood businesses, including a grocery store and theatre. Berberian's mother had immigrated with her parents; her father’s died in a massacre in Turkey. She taught school after graduating from Pembroke College in 1957 with an A.B. in sociology. She met her husband, Peter Klanian, a University of Rhode Island graduate and insurance underwriter, through the Armenian community and church.

Elissa L. Beron, class of 1966

Elissa L. Beron was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and attended Atlantic City High School before attending Pembroke College in 1962. After graduating from Brown in 1966 with an A.B. in English Literature, she attended medical school at Yale and Harvard Universities. She has worked as a psychiatrist and psychoanalyist in Newton, Massachusetts, since 1971.

Lois Black, class of 1953

Lois Black was born on November 16, 1931, in Boston, Massachusetts and attended Watertown Senior High School. She had an older sister who convinced her to go to college. Black spent much of her time at Pembroke College thinking about the ways in which sexism pervaded her life, and fighting the exclusions it perpetuated. She graduated in 1953 with an A.B. in biology. After college, Black pursued a Fulbright Scholarship in Strasbourg to study embryology, then came back to the U.S., received a master’s degree from Yale in zoology, and taught biology.

Alita Dorothy Bosworth, class of 1914

Alita Dorothy Bosworth attended a technical high school in Providence before enrolling in Pembroke. After graduating with a Ph.D. in 1914 she returned to this high school to teach German, but eventually switched to teaching English during wartime. 

Shira Buchsbaum, class of 2019

Shira Buchsbaum, Brown University class of 2019, is currently studying for her Masters in the History of the Book at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, with intentions of becoming a librarian. During her time at Brown, she worked at the John Hay Library as a Special Collections Assistant, which was one of her most formative college experiences.

Ruth May Bugbee, class of 1923

Ruth May Bugbee was born in 1901 and attended Cranston High School in Rhode Island. She graduated from Pembroke College in 1923 with an A.B. in social sciences. She married a fellow Brown University graduate in 1925 and had one son. Bugbee went on to work at Howard State Hospital in Cranston as a psychiatric social worker, and the Rhode Island Birth Control League educating women on reproductive health. She had five grandchildren, and eleven great-grandchildren. She died on August 9, 2009 at age 107.  

Cynthia Burdick, class of 1965

Cynthia Burdick received her A.B. in history from Pembroke College in 1965 after transferring from Bryn Mawr College. She began volunteer work at the Women and Infants Hospital and the Meeting Street School, and subsequently became Director of Development at the Lincoln School. She has served on the boards at the Lincoln, Gordon and Providence Country Day schools, Planned Parenthood of Rhode Island, Brown Medical School, the Providence Athenaeum, and the Audubon Society. Burdick has two children. 

Ruth Elizabeth Burt, class of 1953

Ruth Elizabeth Burt was born on July 2, 1931, a single child raised by her parents and maternal grandfather in Bennington, Vermont. She graduated from Pembroke College in Brown University in 1953 with her A.B. in psychology. In 1957, she married Lincoln Ekstrom, Brown University class of 1953, who was a chemist and environmental scientist.

Helen Elizabeth Butts, class of 1928

Helen Elizabeth Butts graduated from Pembroke College in 1928 and received her A.M. from Pembroke in 1929. She taught at Smith College for 2 years before deciding to obtain a Ph.D. Helen went to Duke to pursue further graduate studies where she met her husband. After marrying, Butts taught zoology at Wellesley for 5 years before leaving to have children. Eventually Butts, her husband, and their four children, moved to Texas where she worked part-time doing botanical research. She resumed a full-time position when her children were in high school.  

Mariah Draper Calagione, class of 1993

Mariah Draper Calagione grew up in Milford, Delaware, with her three siblings. Her father, Tom Draper, owned WBOC-TV and radio stations. Her mother, Rachel Grier-Reynolds, was a licensed social worker. Calagione attended public schools in Delaware before entering Northfield Mount Hermon School in the ninth grade. She followed in her father’s footsteps and graduated from Brown University in 1993 with her A.B. in public policy. She and her then-boyfriend, Sam Calagione, decided to open a brewpub shortly after graduation.

Beverly Anne Calderwood, class of 1952

Beverly Anne Calderwood was born on December 26, 1930 in Providence, Rhode Island. A first generation college graduate, she earned her A.B. from Pembroke College after attending Gorton High School in Warwick, Rhode Island. Calderwood married Russell James Hart, her childhood sweetheart, and moved from Providence to Seekonk, Massachusetts, where she worked as a teacher for the Rehoboth School District, teaching math, art, English, and physical education. She was involved with numerous community organizations, including the League of Women Voters, and Women’s Club of Seekonk.

Rita A. Campbell, class of 1975

Rita A. Campbell was born on November 7, 1953 in Washington, D.C., the daughter of two public school teachers. After completing her senior year at Ursuline Academy in Bethesda, Maryland, she earned her A.B. in Anthropology from Brown University and her Master's in Holistic Counseling from Salve Regina University. Campbell was a longtime resident of Rhode Island, where she owned and operated the Artist Development Group talent agency and was affiliated with the New England Jazz Society, the RI State Council on the Arts, and Providence Inner City Arts.

Carol Canner, class of 1959 - First Interview

Carol Canner was born in Boston, MA on May 11, 1937. She grew up in Newton, Massachusetts where she graduated from Newton High School in 1955. She attended Pembroke College and graduated in 1959 with an A.B. in English literature. Canner went on to obtain an M.A.T. from Harvard University in 1960, and an M.S.W. from the University of Connecticut in 1967. She married her husband, Atle Gjelsvik, in 1960 and together they had two children, Erik and Annie. Canner retired as the Assistant Director of Head Start of Rockland County, New York, and moved to North Kingstown, Rhode Island.

Carol Canner, class of 1959 - Second Interview

Carol Canner was born in Boston, Massachusetts on May 11, 1937. She grew up in Newton, Massachusetts where she graduated from Newton High School in 1955. She attended Pembroke College and graduated in 1959 with an A.B. in English literature. Canner went on to obtain an M.A.T. from Harvard University in 1960, and an M.S.W. from the University of Connecticut in 1967. She married her husband, Atle Gjelsvik, in 1960 and together they had two children, Erik and Annie. Canner retired as the Assistant Director of Head Start of Rockland County, New York, and moved to North Kingstown, Rhode Island.

Rachel Cassidy, faculty

Rachel N. Cassidy, Associate Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences, received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Florida in 2013, where she investigated nicotine’s effects on behavior using animal models of addiction. Dr. Cassidy arrived in Providence in 2014 for a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Alcohol and Addiction studies at Brown University, and was promoted to Assistant Professor in 2014. Her work focuses on assessing the impact of tobacco control policies designed to reduce smoking and tobacco use on adolescent health.

Rita Ann Chao, class of 1969

Rita Ann Chao was born in Hanoi, Vietnam and raised in Saigon, to Chinese parents during the French Indochina War. When she and her twin sister were 16 years old, they came to Maine to live with an uncle and further their education. Chao graduated from Edward Little High School in Auburn, Maine in 1965 and then attended Pembroke College, the women’s college in Brown University, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics in 1969. She married Wilbur Hadden in 1969 and worked in Ithaca, New York, as a software developer while he pursued graduate school.

Alice Mary Clark, class of 1946

Alice Mary Clark was born on November 25, 1924 in Providence, Rhode Island. After graduating from Saint Francis Xavier Academy, she earned her A.B. in French from Pembroke College in 1946. In addition to her work as an educator, Clark served as International President of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, and was involved with the Pembroke Alumnae Association, the International Federation of Catholic Alumnae, and the Rhode Island Philharmonic. She married Thomas H. Donahue III '45, with whom she had two children.