Speakers

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. 

Ruth Dorothea Peterson, class of 1919

Ruth Dorothea Peterson grew up on Williams Street in Providence. An only child, she was always expected to attend college after high school. She had attended events at Brown University throughout her life, and Pembroke College was a natural choice for her. She graduated from Brown with an A.B. as part of the Class of 1919. 

Miriam "Mimi" Dale Pichey, class of 1972

Miriam Dale Pichey was born in Oakland, California in 1950 and raised in San Francisco. Her mother was a pharmacist and her father was first an engineer, and then a real estate developer. She attended Brown University in 1968, and graduated in 1972 in a concentration of her own formulation, Art and Archaeology.

Katharine Curtis Pierce, class of 1962

Katharine Curtis Pierce grew up in New Haven, Connecticut, and attended the coeducational Quaker George School. She graduated from Pembroke in 1962, with degrees in anthropology and sociology, as well as a deep interest in religion. After graduation, Pierce intermittently took on social work positions at Yale University and traveled to Vietnam to help resettle refugees. For the past twenty years, her career has taken a different turn, as she now works as a private consultant designing computer training programs.

Rosemary Pierrel, class of 1953

Rosemary Pierrel Sorrentino received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Boston University (1945 and 1946, respectively), and her Ph.D. from Brown University in 1953. She was an instructor at Wheelock College in Boston from 1946 to 1949 and at Brown University from 1953 to 1955 before heading to Columbia University to teach experimental psychology. She went on to become the last dean of Pembroke College and one of the first female professors at Brown. During her decade as dean, she emphasized academics and encouraged women to pursue careers as scholars.

Javette D. Pinkney, class of 1980

Javette D. Pinkney graduated from Brown University in 1980 with an A.B. in English. After graduation, she took a marketing position at IBM, where she went on to become Director. With sponsorship from IBM, Pinkney received marketing certification from the Wharton School and has since worked as General Sales Manager and Director of Marketing at a number of prominent companies. At the time of this interview, she also served as a Trustee Emerita and Chair of Brown University President’s Diversity Advisory Council, making her the first Black woman to head an Ivy League Alumni Board.

Clarice d'Almeida Pitta, class of 1933

Clarice d'Almeida Pitta was born on April 6, 1910 to John Carlos Pitta and Anne d’Almeida. She began studying at Pembroke College in 1929 at the onset of the Great Depression, which greatly affected her undergraduate experience. After she graduated from Brown in 1933 with degrees in Latin and English, she struggled to find employment during the difficult economic times. Pitta and her husband eventually settled in California.


 

Margaret Mary Porter, class of 1939

Margaret "Peg" Mary Porter was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1918. Her mother was a housewife, and her father was a janitor during the Great Depression. She attended Classical High School and obtained a scholarship to Pembroke College. She majored in Literature at Pembroke, and during her time there was the Chairman of the Sophomore Masque, Class President, President of the Question Club, and worked on the school newspaper, The Pembroke Record.

Rowan Potter, class of 2019

Rowan Potter grew up in Ridgewood, New Jersey. They participated in Girl Scouts for 12 years. They graduated from Ridgewood High School in 2014 and went on to attend Brown University. While at Brown, Potter led the Queer Alliance and made strides toward establishing a Disability Justice and Cultural Center. They graduated from Brown in 2019 with their A.B. in Gender and Sexuality Studies. They currently live in Boston, Massachusetts.

Sara Caitlin Potter, class of 1998

Sara Caitlin Potter is a lifetime Rhode Islander. Her mother graduated from Brown University and Potter followed in 1998 with an AB in English and American Literature. She is currently the Coordinator of the Talent Development Program at the University of Rhode Island and she spends her free time volunteering at the Pawtucket Animal Shelter and Handsome Dan’s Rescue. Families with high needs dogs in Rhode Island consider Potter one the state’s animal guardian angels for her advocacy on their behalf.

Rose Presel, class of 1918

Rose Presel began Pembroke at age 16 after attending Hope High School in Providence, RI. She received a A.B. from Pembroke College in 1918, an A.M. in 1935 and later a Ph.D. in Philosophy. Presel wrote one of the 1918 Songs of the Women's College in Brown University (attached below) and was a well-known musician throughout New England, New York, and Massachusetts and played duo-piano concerts with her sister; she was the longest member and past president of the Chopin Club.

Elizabeth J. Pretzer, class of 1944

Elizabeth J. Pretzer was born in Cleveland, Ohio on April 10, 1922. Her family was highly educated, with both her mother and father possessing graduate degrees. Pretzer’s family moved to Providence, Rhode Island where she attended Hope High School, and later, Pembroke College. She majored in Geology and minored in Social Work, graduating a year early due to Pembroke’s accelerated wartime curriculum. Pretzer earned her Master’s in Geology from Columbia University and her Ph.D. from University of Illinois.

Anna C. Renzi, class of 1947

Anna C. Renzi was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island, to Italian-immigrant parents.

50th Reunion, class of 1954

Jettabee "Chris" Edman, Diana Coates Gill, Barbara Reuben Levin, Felice Rinder Kirsh, Pearl Schwartz Livingstone, Diane Lake Northrop, Patricia Crabtree Bradley, Marilyn Carlson Simon, Marjorie Gould Sharpe, Joan Bliss Wilson, and Kay Hellstrom Shields share their memories of Pembroke College in Brown University in the early 1950s.

50th Reunion, class of 1956

Margaret "Dazzle" Devoe Gidley studied art at Brown, and upon her graduation went on to study music at Yale. She is a passionate supporter of the arts and teaches, performs, and works for musical and political organizations in Rhode Island. She has taught classical piano as an adjunct professor at the Community College of Rhode Island, and has been the president of both the Rhode Island Music Teachers Association and the Rhode Island Federation of Music Clubs, and served as the vice president of the Rhode Island Civic Chorale and Orchestra.

25th Reunion, class of 1991

The Brown University class of 1991 completed their senior year during changing times. Internationally, East and West Germany were officially unified and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher stepped down. Nationally, the United States braced for war in the Persian Gulf which was realized in January 1991. Locally, the Rhode Island government shut down to shrink the state’s budget deficit. On the Brown campus, students demanded that a Dean of Women’s Concerns be hired to appropriately and effectively address the issue of rape and sexual harassment on campus.

50th Reunion, class of 1961

The Pembroke College class of 1961 graduated under Brown University President Barnaby Keeney and Pembroke College Dean Nancy Duke Lewis. Notable speakers during their time at Pembroke included Mirra Komarovsky from Columbia University, William Pollard from the Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies, and Martin Luther King Jr. They celebrated such events as Freshman Week, Father-Daughter Weekend, Christmas Weekend, and May Weekend.

50th Reunion, class of 1962

The Pembroke College class of 1962 conducted most of their education under Dean Nancy Duke Lewis who retired in 1961. Ultimately, they graduated under Brown University President Barnaby Keeney and Pembroke College Dean Rosemary Pierrel. During their senior year, the average cost of a new house was $12,500.00 and eggs cost 32 cents per dozen. The first American, John Glenn, orbited the Earth, Marilyn Monroe sang happy birthday to President John F. Kennedy, and Spider Man made his first comic book appearance.  

50th Reunion, class of 1963

The Pembroke College class of 1963 graduated under Brown University President Barnaby Keeney and Pembroke College Dean Rosemary Pierrel. During their senior year, President John F. Kennedy promised that a Civil Rights bill was on the horizon, while travel by United States Citizens to Cuba was made illegal. At the same time, Pembroke abolished the Forum for Civil Liberties and the Fair Play for Cuba Committee while it instituted the Socialist Discussion Group was instituted.

50th Reunion, class of 1964

The Pembroke College class of 1964 graduated under Dean Rosemary Pierrel and Brown University President Barnaby Keeney. During their senior year, students joined clubs such as Brownbrokers, Glee Club, and Student Government Association, and the physical education requirement was abolished for upperclassmen. They celebrated Spring Weekend and Father Daughter Weekend, and the university prepared for its bicentennial celebration. This class experienced a historically unique tenure at Brown University as John F.