Speakers

Mary Jane Mikuriya, class of 1956

Mary Jane Mikuriya was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on October 8, 1934, to parents of Japanese and Austro-Hungarian origin. She graduated from George School in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in 1952 and moved on to pursue engineering and mathematics at Pembroke College.

Rose Beatrice Miller, class of 1931

Rose Beatrice Miller was born in 1909 in Central Falls, Rhode Island. She earned her A.B. magna cum laude in 1931 and her A.M. in 1932, both from Pembroke College. She worked as a bacteriologist for the State of New York and for Truesdale Hospital in Fall River, Massachusetts. She was the first laboratory volunteer at Rhode Island Hospital and a volunteer at Planned Parenthood. With her husband, Aaron Roitman '30, Miller had one son, James, and two daughters, Deborah and Barbara. Miller died on July 8, 1991.

Jean Ellen Miller, class of 1949

Jean Ellen Miller was born in Brockton, Massachusetts in 1928. After her mother's death when she was a young child, Miller and her family moved in with her Scottish grandparents. She attended secondary school in Whitman and Uxbridge, Massachusetts, and entered Pembroke College in 1945 as a recipient of a local scholarship. Although she began college with a focus on science, she graduated with her A.B. in English. As a student, Miller was part of several sports teams and was a staff member on the Brun Mael yearbookinaddition to working in Andrews Dining Hall.

Kristie E. Miller, class of 1966

Kristie E. Miller grew up in a conservative household in LaSalle, Illinois. She decided to attend Pembroke College because she wanted to go to a co-educational school that was very intellectually stimulating. She majored in Spanish while also extensively studying English, creative writing, and journalism. During her time at Pembroke, she was the editor of the Brown Literary Review, as well as the first female managing editor of the Brown Daily Herald. In 1977, Miller earned a master's degree from Georgetown University in linguistics.

Rochelle Miller, class of 1964

Rochelle “Shelley” Miller grew up in Rhode Island and attended Hope High School in Providence, Rhode Island. She went on to graduate from Pembroke College in 1964 with an A.B. in political science and subsequently graduated from Simmons College with her masters in social work. She was coordinator of social workers for the Cranston, Rhode Island School Department and had an active private practice in social work. She was the first chairwoman of the Providence Juvenile Hearing Board.

Sarah Elizabeth Minchin, class of 1913

Sarah Elizabeth Minchin, convinced by a high-school teacher, became very active with The Players Theatre early on. Upon coming to Pembroke, Sarah discovered Professor Thomas Crosby Junior—a pioneer of the theatrical world. While performing with him, she met her husband, who was in the audience of one of her productions. Sarah went on to work with Henry Ames Barker, a realistic set designer and artist. 

Noa Mintz, class of 2022

Noa Mintz was raised on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. At just 12 years old, Mintz created Nannies by Noa, a leading nanny placement service based in New York City. She has appeared on national television shows including NBC’s “Today Show” and CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” “Money with Melissa Francis” on Fox Business, and the Steve Harvey Show.

Gail Y. Mitchell, class of 1973

Gail Y. Mitchell was born in Sharon, Pennsylvania. She received her A.B. from Brown University and her J.D. from Columbia School of Law. She began her career in admissions at Brown, and moved on to working in legislation mostly based out of New York where she has volunteered as a fundraiser and mentor at various youth associations.

Hector Mooney, class of 2011

Hector Mooney grew up in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia. They entered Brown University in 2007 and graduated in 2011 with an AB in American Studies. When they are not traveling the world, they live in New York and work as a College Advisor and Standardized Test Writer.

Markita S. Morris, class of 1998

Markita Morris grew up in north Philadelphia with her mother, brother, sister, and cousin. Early on she was identified as a mentally gifted student so her mother ensured that she could attend Paul Laurence Dunbar Elementary and J.R. Masterman Lab & Demonstration Schools. Morris was housing insecure for most of her early life and in combination with a difficult home life greatly challenged her college application process. She served as the first student member of Philadelphia’s board of education and her fellow board members helped her attend Brown University. She earned her A.B.

Beverly Adele Moss, class of 1945

Beverly Adele Moss was born in Brooklyn, New York to Maximillian and Grace Moss. Her father was an attorney and the President of the New York City Board of Education, as well as an important philanthropic figure in Brooklyn. Her mother was a volunteer for the notable anthropologist, Margaret Mead. Moss attended James Madison High School high school in Brooklyn, with a brief period at boarding school in the south, and then went on to get her Bachelors degree at Pembroke College, where she graduated cum laude in 1945.

Beverly Irene Nanes, class of 1963

Beverly Irene Nanes grew up in Boston with her parents and younger sister. With constant encouragement from her parents to attend university, Nanes decided to attend Pembroke College. She graduated in 1963 with a degree in economics and went on to hold system analyst positions at IBM and Honeywell. She met her husband at a sewing class in Cambridge and they moved to California together a few years later.

Karen Newman, Faculty

Karen Newman is Owen Walker '33 Professor of Humanities and Professor of Comparative Literature and English at Brown University. She received her B.A. from Randolph-Macon Woman's College in 1970, her M.A. from University of California, Berkeley in 1972, and her PhD. From University of California, Berkeley in 1978. She has written widely on early modern letters and culture and on Shakespeare and Renaissance drama. Recent books include Cultural Capitals: Early Modern London and Paris (Princeton, 2007, paperback, 2009) and Essaying Shakespeare (University of Minnesota Press, 2009).

Ethel Colvin Nichols, class of 1934

Ethel Colvin Nichols was born in Cranston, Rhode Island, in 1913, and was the first person in her family to graduate from high school. She received her A.B. in Biology from Pembroke College in 1934, returning to earn an A.M. in English and Education in 1938. Nichold also received a Ph.D. from Rutgers University in English Education, Counseling, and Guidance. She held several teaching positions throughout her career, including a position at the American College for Girls at Istanbul in Turkey from 1940-45.

Alice Elizabeth O'Connor, class of 1928

Alice Elizabeth O'Connor was born in Providence in 1906, the oldest of six children to parents of Irish descent. Alice attended Hope High School before entering Pembroke College and graduated with an A.B. in history in 1928. She worked briefly as a teacher before becoming a social worker, and later attended graduate school at Boston University. She passed away on January 30, 1998.

Gladys Paine, class of 1913

Gladys Paine was born in 1891 and grew up in South Hadley, Massachusetts. After studying math at Brown, she worked as a teacher, the owner of a lunchroom, and the manager of a doctor's office. The mother of two daughters, Paine was active in the DAR and served as President of the Connecticut State Federation of Women's Clubs. She is the author of an autobiography entitled Gad: Nine Decades of Happy Living and Notions After Ninety.

Jeree Palmer-Bechkham, class of 1983

Jeree Palmer-Bechkam grew up in Harlem, New York, where she met her first husband, novelist Barry Beckham. Together, they moved to Providence where she earned her A.B. in theatre arts through Brown's Resumed Education Program (RUE). While at Brown, Palmer produced a show that inspired “Shades of Harlem,” her first successful off-Broadway production.  She continued a professional singing, acting and production career, opening for Jerry Lewis and Bill Cosby, while obtaining her Master's degree in counseling psychology from Goddard College in 1995.

Alison Palmer, class of 1953

Alison Palmer grew up in Wollaston, Massachusetts with her two siblings, David and Lois. She and her family moved to Long Island in 1940. With some hesitancy, Palmer decided to enroll at Pembroke College, her mother’s alma mater. After graduating in 1953 with an A.B. in English literature, she went to work at the Christian Science Monitor and the New York Times before deciding she wanted to work for the State Department. Palmer cites her time in Vietnam as the only period in which she did not face gender discrimination from the State Department.

Katherine Perkins, class of 1932

Katherine Perkins was born in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. After attending school in East Providence, she entered Pembroke College in 1928, taking the trolley car to campus for her classes. She worked in the East Providence Library and as a social worker before becoming a French teacher at East Providence High School, where she taught for 35 years. Perkins died on November 27, 2005 at age 94.

Linda J. Peters, class of 1982

Linda J. Peters grew up in Chicago, Illinois, and graduated from Brown University in 1982 with an A.B. in English literature. She has worked for the Rhode Island Hospital, Brown University's Leadership Alliance, the Brown News Bureau, and as a realtor in the Providence area.